3 May 2016 Detecting buried explosive hazards with handheld GPR and deep learning
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Abstract
Buried explosive hazards (BEHs), including traditional landmines and homemade improvised explosives, have proven difficult to detect and defeat during and after conflicts around the world. Despite their various sizes, shapes and construction material, ground penetrating radar (GPR) is an excellent phenomenology for detecting BEHs due to its ability to sense localized differences in electromagnetic properties. Handheld GPR detectors are common equipment for detecting BEHs because of their flexibility (in part due to the human operator) and effectiveness in cluttered environments. With modern digital electronics and positioning systems, handheld GPR sensors can sense and map variation in electromagnetic properties while searching for BEHs. Additionally, large-scale computers have demonstrated an insatiable appetite for ingesting massive datasets and extracting meaningful relationships. This is no more evident than the maturation of deep learning artificial neural networks (ANNs) for image and speech recognition now commonplace in industry and academia. This confluence of sensing, computing and pattern recognition technologies offers great potential to develop automatic target recognition techniques to assist GPR operators searching for BEHs. In this work deep learning ANNs are used to detect BEHs and discriminate them from harmless clutter. We apply these techniques to a multi-antennae, handheld GPR with centimeter-accurate positioning system that was used to collect data over prepared lanes containing a wide range of BEHs. This work demonstrates that deep learning ANNs can automatically extract meaningful information from complex GPR signatures, complementing existing GPR anomaly detection and classification techniques.
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Lance E. Besaw, "Detecting buried explosive hazards with handheld GPR and deep learning", Proc. SPIE 9823, Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XXI, 98230N (3 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223797; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2223797
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