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Landmine, IED, UXO Detection using Ground Penetrating Radar from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

7 March 2012

Amin Amiri

There are over 100 million undetected terrestrial landmines scattered in approximately 70 countries including Europe. 70 people are injured every day of which 90% of the victims are civilians. There are emerging threats from more sophisticated explosive devices such as Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), which tend to diminish the entire fabric of society. The overall political and legal framework covered by several treaties and conventions emphasise in eliminating explosive devices including IED and Landmines around the world, therefore a global effort in a multidisciplinary manner is required to address this issue. This ranges from improving quality of the information on the threat and its impact, developing new survey and clearance procedures and deploying better equipment including improved sensors.

My research aims at investigating the use of Multi Frequency Ground Penetrating Radar (MFGPR) with Software Defined Radio (SDR) technique for detection of surface and buried explosive devices in different environmental conditions. The use of multi frequency radar with reconfigurable antenna elements allows the system to perform wide area scanning as well as high resolution imaging for classification. In addition, the system is to be mounted on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for a contactless remote sensing in aggressive media as well as rapid and mobile surveying.

Therefore the hardware design must be compact, lightweight and low power consumption. Furthermore, the Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna configuration on the UAV will enable the MFGPR to adapt to surrounding environment such as earth conditions and inhomogeneity, target size and shape.