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Proceedings Paper

Aerodynamic sampling for landmine trace detection
Author(s): Gary S. Settles; Douglas A. Kester
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Paper Abstract

Electronic noses and similar sensors show promise for detecting buried landmines through the explosive trace signals they emit. A key step in this detection is the sampler or sniffer, which acquires the airborne trace signal and presents it to the detector. Practicality demands no physical contact with the ground. Further, both airborne particulates and molecular traces must be sampled. Given a complicated minefield terrain and microclimate, this becomes a daunting chore. Our prior research on canine olfactory aerodynamics revealed several ways that evolution has dealt with such problems: 1) proximity of the sniffer to the scent source is important, 2) avoid exhaling back into the scent source, 3) use an aerodynamic collar on the sniffer inlet, 4) use auxiliary airjets to stir up surface particles, and 5) manage the 'impedance mismatch' between sniffer and sensor airflows carefully. Unfortunately, even basic data on aerodynamic sniffer performance as a function of inlet-tube and scent-source diameters, standoff distance, etc., have not been previously obtained. A laboratory-prototype sniffer was thus developed to provide guidance for landmine trace detectors. Initial experiments with this device are the subject of this paper. For example, a spike in the trace signal is observed upon starting the sniffer airflow, apparently due to rapid depletion of the available signal-laden air. Further, shielding the sniffer from disruptive ambient airflows arises as a key issue in sampling efficiency.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 October 2001
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4394, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets VI, (18 October 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.445417
Show Author Affiliations
Gary S. Settles, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Douglas A. Kester, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4394:
Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets VI
Abinash C. Dubey; James F. Harvey; J. Thomas Broach; Vivian George, Editor(s)

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