Writing in Inderscience's Journal of Design Research, the team explains how the new technology, with further industrial development, could eventually make vast tracts of land around the globe safe once more.
Landmines were first used widely during World War II and continue to represent a significant threat to life and limb in areas afflicted by war. Originally, landmines were used to protect strategic areas such as borders, camps or important bridges and to restrict the movement of enemy forces. The use of landmines has spread to countless national conflicts and they are now commonly used by terrorist and other organisations against civilians and rivals. This has led to a major proliferation of landmines in many areas beyond conventional military conflict zones.
In the absence of records, the low cost of landmines and the vast areas that have been polluted with them due to aerial distribution, clearing landmines has become and increasingly frustrating and hazardous task.
A single landmine might cost $1, but once in the ground locating it and making it safe can cost up to $1000. According to P. van Genderen and A.G. Yarovoy in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at Delft University of Technology, this cost is prohibitive in most areas affected by landmine use and so a cheaper solution is needed. The researchers also point out that a detection system that does not distinguish between landmines and other buried objects is not viable.
The researchers explain that innovative technologies such as multi-hyper spectral sensors, passive millimetre wave detectors, and charged particle detection could be effective, but are likely to be very costly and complicated to use. Inexpensive methods such as conventional metal detectors and probing of the ground by a human operator are prone to serious error with major repercussions for the operators.
They have now turned to ultra-wideband radar as having the potential to be much easier to operate than the sophisticated technology but be just as effective and crucially far less expensive. The team has now developed a prototype system that successfully detects model landmines in a test environment. The detection rate is always offset by the false alarm rate, the researchers explain. The real step forward can be made if this balance can be made more favourable. Further work and development is now needed to shift the balance between detection rate and false alarm rate.
Jim Corlett | alfa
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11.12.2017 | University of Birmingham
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
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