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13 August 2002 Chemical sensing thresholds for mine detection dogs
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Abstract
Mine detection dogs have been found to be an effective method to locate buried landmines. The capabilities of the canine olfaction method are from a complex combination of training and inherent capacity of the dog for odor detection. The purpose of this effort was to explore the detection thresholds of a limited group of dogs that were trained specifically for landmine detection. Soils were contaminated with TNT and 2,4-DNT to develop chemical vapor standards to present to the dogs. Soils contained ultra trace levels of TNT and DNT, which produce extremely low vapor levels. Three groups of dogs were presented the headspace vapors from the contaminated soils in work environments for each dog group. One positive sample was placed among several that contained clean soils and, the location and vapor source (strength, type) was frequently changed. The detection thresholds for the dogs were determined from measured and extrapolated dilution of soil chemical residues and, estimated soil vapor values using phase partitioning relationships. The results showed significant variances in dog sensing thresholds, where some dogs could sense the lowest levels and others had trouble with even the highest source. The remarkable ultra-trace levels detectable by the dogs are consistent with the ultra-trace chemical residues derived from buried landmines; however, poor performance may go unnoticed without periodic challenge tests at levels consistent with performance requirements.
© (2002) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
James M. Phelan and James L. Barnett "Chemical sensing thresholds for mine detection dogs", Proc. SPIE 4742, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets VII, (13 August 2002); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.479126
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