Detection of Occupied Caves

Period of Performance: 12/18/2002 - 06/17/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

PO Box 228, 25 N Heartland Express; Battle Creek S
Hermosa, SD 57744
Principal Investigator


This phase I SBIR project will investigate the feasibility of developing an unattended ground sensor for the detection of occupied caves. The proposed work is an extension of a technology that was developed and used by the applicant to detect human and other targets through building and cave walls and to map tunnels of ore that are several thousand feet below the surface. Accordingly, this alternative approach to thermal detection of occupied caves was encouraged by the TPOC for this topic. A phase II aspiration of this work is to develop a portable flexible or fabric array that is responsive to the need for unattended underground facility and occupied cave detection cited in PE 06063762E (CUGF). The phase I study will focus on human and subsurface utility detection in caves, subsurface cave mapping, and methods to deploy the sensor as an unattended unit. This effort will conclude with design recommendations for wireless communications, sensor and receiver hardware composition, and target anomaly extraction techniques. Component and algorithm selection will reflect a scoring system based on phase I experiments. This technology, which is capable of both through wall and subsurface cave imaging, will enhance safety for law enforcement, search and rescue, fire, and military personnel by providing effective hands-free situational awareness. The technology is also well suited for subsurface mapping applications such as occupied cave, underground facility, and buried target detection; and for commercial security.