WHILE diplomats work to restrict the manufacture, sale, and use of land mines worldwide, a massive cleanup effort is needed to find and destroy the estimated 100 million land mines still buried in 65 countries. Land mines left behind from wars worldwide are one of the century's main unsolved problems of war and remain the focus of humanitarian mine detection and removal primarily in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.|
A combination of technologies from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is being directed toward the most daunting challenge presented by land mines--quickly determining the location of each individual land mine in an area so all of them can be removed. The Laboratory's patented micropower impulse radar and advanced imaging technologies are being combined in a practical system called the Land-Mine Detection Advanced Radar Concept, or LANDMARC, that is making pivotal advances in meeting the challenge of land-mine detection.
The Detection Dilemma
Other Detection Technologies
Livermore's Systems Approach
One of LANDMARC's chief contributions to land-mine detection technology is combining MIR units with a high-performance imaging system.3 LANDMARC's MIR-based imaging software, which was originally developed for radar inspection of steel-reinforced concrete bridge decks, provides a great improvement over previous land-mine detection technology in sorting out clutter--the most difficult of the imaging tasks--and lowering the false-alarm rate.
Central to perfecting LANDMARC's imaging capabilities are the comprehensive signal and noise models being developed by the Livermore team. These models are based on the contributions from temperature differences, inhomogeneity in the soil, increased noise resulting from multiple reflections in MIR arrays, surface reflections, and subsurface clutter such as rocks, roots, and voids. They identify terrain and soil conditions where radar is likely to work well and other situations where different types of sensors would be more appropriate. More important, the models are used to design algorithms to help reduce the false-alarm rate and increase the positive identification rate in laboratory and field tests, both of which, in turn, improve LANDMARC's ability to discriminate between mines and clutter.
Results from Field Testing
Key Words: antipersonnel mines, antitank mines, humanitarian land-mine detection, ground-penetrating radar, LANDMARC (Land-Mine Detection Advanced Radar Concept), micropower impulse radar (MIR), subsurface imaging, ultrawide bandwidth.
1. "World's Fastest Solid-State Digitizer," Energy & Technology Review, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California, UCRL-52000-94-4 (April 1994), pp. 1-6.
2. "Micropower Impulse Radar," Science & Technology Review, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California, UCRL-52000-96-1/2 (January/February 1996), pp. 16-29.
3. S. G. Azevedo et al., Statement of Capabilities: Micropower Impulse Radar (MIR) Technology Applied to Mine Detection and Imaging, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California, UCRL-ID-120801 (March 1995).
For further information contact Stephen Azevedo (510) 422-8538 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For licensing and MIR partnering information contact (510) 423-1077 (email@example.com).
Also see the MIR home page (http://www-lasers.llnl.gov/lasers/idp/mir/mir.html).