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Proceedings Paper

Assessment of a passive microwave sensor for detecting land mines
Author(s): Andrew C. Calhoun; David C. Heberlein; Erik M. Rosen; Kelly D. Sherbondy
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Paper Abstract

Passive IR sensors have been demonstrated to be effective for detecting surface landmines. For shallow buried landmines, detection rates and false-alarms rates are poorer and highly dependent on environmental conditions such as time of day and cloud cover. An advantage touted by advocates of passive microwave sensors is that their performance does not depend on the time of day and the inherent soil-mine temperature differences. To assess the complementary detection potential of passive microwave sensors, data was collected on a Thomson-Thorne microwave sensor at a test site in England. This sensor was mounted on a scanning rack apparatus and operated at a frequency of 10 Ghz. The test included investigations of both antitank and antipersonnel miens at the surface and to depths of 2 inches. Analysis of the raw data shows that surface and buried targets produce signals that are significantly higher than background clutter. In this paper, we present a brief description of the passive-microwave detection apparatus and the data-collection exercises that were completed. Analysis of the raw sensor data is then presented with an emphasis on comparing signal strengths of mines with signals reflected from the soil in the absence of mines. Particular attention is paid to the effects of varied incident sensor angles, sensor polarizations, and system scan speeds on sensor performance. Signal-to-noise as well as signal-to-clutter ratios are calculated as a function of these different variables.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 August 2000
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4038, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets V, (22 August 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.396255
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew C. Calhoun, Institute for Defense Analyses (United States)
David C. Heberlein, Institute for Defense Analyses (United States)
Erik M. Rosen, Institute for Defense Analyses (United States)
Kelly D. Sherbondy, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4038:
Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets V
Abinash C. Dubey; James F. Harvey; J. Thomas Broach; Regina E. Dugan, Editor(s)

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