The application of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) in humanitarian demining labors presents two major challenges: (1) the development of affordable and practical systems to detect metallic and non-metallic antipersonnel (AP) landmines under different conditions, and (2) the development of accurate soil characterization techniques
to evaluate soil properties effects and determine the performance of these GPR-based systems. In this paper, we present a new integrated approach for characterizing electromagnetic (EM) properties of mine-affected soils and detecting landmines using a low cost hand-held vector network analyzer (VNA) connected to a highly directive
antenna. Soil characterization is carried out using the radar-antenna-subsurface model of Lambot <i>et al</i>.<sup>1</sup> and full-wave inversion of the radar signal focused in the time domain on the surface reflection. This methodology is integrated to background subtraction (BS) and migration to enhance landmine detection. Numerical and laboratory experiments are performed to show the effect of the soil EM properties on the detectability of the
landmines and how the proposed approach can ameliorate the GPR performance.