Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Test Facility Aims to Improve Land Mine Detection Equipment

15.05.2009
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have built a test facility to evaluate and enhance sensors designed to detect buried land mines. The unique automated system measures the response of individual electromagnetic induction sensors or arrays of sensors against land mines buried at many possible angles.

Electromagnetic induction sensors work by sending out magnetic fields and detecting the response from the electric currents generated when the field interacts with a metallic target.

While simple versions of these sensors are capable of detecting most land mines, advanced sensors are required to tell the difference between a land mine and harmless buried metal objects, which can include bottle tops, nails, shrapnel and spent bullets.

“We built this facility to aid in the development of advanced electromagnetic induction sensors and associated detection algorithms, mainly because little was known about how the signals collected by these sensors from land mines changed when the mines were buried underground at odd angles,” said Waymond Scott, a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Scott and Gregg Larson, a senior research engineer in Georgia Tech’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, constructed the facility with funding from the U.S. Army and described it at the recent SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing Symposium.

The testing structure was built with five computer-controlled axes – three translational stages and two rotational stages – and one manual axis. During testing, an individual sensor or array of sensors is fixed in the middle of the measurement region while the rotational stages orient a target and move it along a prescribed path around the sensor.

For testing, the researchers place the sensor in the center of the area so that it is located as far as possible from any surrounding metal, including the floor that contains structural steel and the aluminum beams of the positioner frame. In the procedure used to measure individual targets, they also controlled for the response from the surrounding metal structures.

The system can collect measurements of typical targets, including shell casings, wire loops, ball bearings and land mines. The data from each target is plotted as response curves, which are a function of the metal content and structure of the target and help discriminate a land mine from other metal buried in the ground. Previous field tests have shown that the shape of the response curves did not change when targets were buried at different depths, but the researchers wanted to know if the same was true for targets buried at different angles.

“This facility allows us to collect measurements of typical targets and clutter objects with respect to location and orientation, which would be very difficult to measure in the field due to the difficulty of accurately placing and rotating the target,” said Scott.

At the symposium, the researchers presented data collected in the facility from three targets – a single wire loop, a composite target with three wire loops and a 9 millimeter shell casing. Their results with the single wire loop and shell casing showed that the shape of the response curve was the same for all of the rotation angles, but the amplitude of the response changed with rotation angle. The more complex three-loop target exhibited changes in the shape and amplitude of the curve when the rotation angle was modified.

The researchers plan to use these results to make improvements to the sensor hardware and processing algorithms. Future efforts in the experimental facility will focus on measuring more targets and investigating methods for summarizing the massive amounts of collected data into simple physical models. The researchers also plan to improve the processing algorithms to help characterize more complicated targets and refine the detection and discrimination methods for electromagnetic induction sensors.

Experiments conducted in the facility will ultimately help researchers better discriminate between land mines and harmless metal objects, which will lead to reduced false alarm rates.

“This facility will help us develop advanced electromagnetic induction sensors that are most effective and able to quickly, accurately and repetitively measure the response of a buried target,” noted Scott.

This work is supported in part by the U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, Science and Technology Division, Countermine Branch and in part by the U. S. Army Research Office under Contract Number W911NF-05-1-0257. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the researchers and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Office or the U.S. Government.

Technical Contact: Waymond Scott (404-894-3048); E-mail: (waymond.scott@ece.gatech.edu)

Abby Vogel | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.gatech.edu

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>