11 September 2003 Minefield edge detection using a novel chemical vapor sensing technique
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Abstract
Nomadics has developed a novel sensing technology that detects the chemical signature of explosives emanating from buried landmines. Canines have demonstrated the ability to detect these signatures, but use of canines for this task presents a number of logistical and physical limitations that can be overcome by use of chemical sensors. Nomadics is the exclusive licensee of novel amplifying fluorescent polymer materials developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). These materials enable detection of ultra-trace concentrations of nitroaromatic compounds such as TNT, the most commonly utilized explosive in the production of landmines. When vapors of nitroaromatics are presented to the sensor, the fluorescent polymers emit light at a greatly reduced intensity, a property that enables rapid detection of trace quantities of explosives using relatively low-cost electronics and optics. Studies performed by Jenkins et al suggest that the chemical signature of a landmine is heterogeneous and can be dispersed a significant distance from the location of the mine. Because the signature is not highly localized and is not characterized by a well-defined concentration gradient, the sensor may have difficulty indicating the exact position of a mine, especially in high-density minefields. Conversely, if the chemical signature extends some distance from the mine position, the sensor may have utility in detecting the edges of minefields. In combat scenarios, this will allow commanders to select safe paths for personnel and vehicles. This paper will present the latest findings related to minefield edge detection at several test sites.
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Mark E. Fisher, Mark E. Fisher, John Sikes, John Sikes, } "Minefield edge detection using a novel chemical vapor sensing technique", Proc. SPIE 5089, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets VIII, (11 September 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.487879; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.487879
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