Software Driven Virtual Minefield

Period of Performance: 09/08/2003 - 09/28/2004

$728K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Engineering Technology, Inc.
3275 Progress Drive Suite D
Orlando, FL 32826
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The objective of the proposed effort is to conduct the applied research and development work necessary for the creation of a new training capability for landmine detection, resulting in a rugged, fieldable system replicating signatures of a variety of landmine types and clutter types under a variety of soil and environmental conditions. It will provide to the operator of handheld landmine detection systems a virtual experience for training that combines a minefield with realistic sensor signals corresponding to actual target signatures. Providing direct feedback to the operator, it will stimulate performance enhancement, support operator training and reorientation to a new environment, and allow experimentation with operator cueing formats. Ultimately, we envision a high fidelity, effective training simulator that complements the Hand-Held Standoff Mine Detection System (HSTAMIDS). The proposed team of ETI, Duke University, and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) participated jointly in the Phase I effort that successfully demonstrated the concept using electromagnetic induction (EMI) sensors. The Phase II effort will include the fused combination of EMI and ground-penetrating radar (GPR). The system uses real-time video tracking technology, that ETI has implemented in the deployable Sweep Monitoring System (SMS), and realistic audio-visual feedback. When the operator is using the virtual minefield, the simulated detector generates a realistic audio response characteristic of a detector operating in an environment with actual buried mines. This program leverages research already undertaken at CMU and Duke University, as well as ETI, a defense contractor, to insure success from laboratory development through technology transition and commercialization.Since the software driven minefield will be able to emulate any common sensor response, it will transition rapidly to the commercial market because it will be highly effective in training the demining personnel on current land mine sensor technologies and will significantly enhance their performance. This commercial market is expected to be an order of magnitude larger than the military market, resulting in a significant dual use capability.