Multi Sensor Detection Imaging and Explosive Confirmation of Mines

Period of Performance: 08/05/1997 - 02/03/1998

$100K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Raton Technology Research, Inc.
848 Clayton Highway
Raton, NM 87740
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Los Alamos National Laboratory
P.O. Box 1663
Los Alamos, NM 87545
Institution POC

Abstract

This Phase I program combines three non-chemical bandmine detection technologies into an integrated sensor suite that will detect and interrogate anomalous objects for shape, size, geometrical detail, and explosive content. Lateral migration (X-Ray) radiography (LMR) is the primary imaging element, with the resonant microstrip patch antenna (RMPA) providing a "quick look" capability, and nuclear quadrupole resonance (NQR) as an explosive element indicator. LMR methods are capable of locating and imaging antipersonnel (AP) and antitank (AT) mines to 10 cm depths. Mine obscuring features such as soil surface variations can be quickly removed by wavelet image analysis. RMPA can detect and image shallow-buried nonmetallic and metallic objects. RMPA with its 1 inch resolution will limit the search area and allow LMR to be realized with lower power source. NQR methods of explosive detection typically rely on the observation of radio-frequency signals from 14N nuclei present in explosive material. This method provides a positive identification of and quantity estimate of explosive material. This sensor conbination will provide the humanitarian de-mining community with a unique means to unambiguously detect and image shallow-burried metallic and non-metallic landmines. The proposed technology is designed to be used primarily in humanitarian de-mining applications. However, there are untested possibilities for application to a variety of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and environmental remediation problems. Resonant microstrip patch antennas are also currently under development for measurement of uncut coal thickness left by coal excavation machine that will reduce ash, sulfur and heavy metals in run of mine coal.