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Proceedings Paper

Buried object remote detection technology for law enforcement
Author(s): Nancy Del Grande; Gregory A. Clark; Philip F. Durbin; David J. Fields; Jose D. Hernandez; Robert J. Sherwood
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Paper Abstract

A precise airborne temperature-sensing technology to detect buried objects for use by law enforcement is developed. Demonstrations have imaged the sites of buried foundations, walls and trenches; mapped underground waterways and aquifers; and been used to locate underground military objects. The methodology is incorporated in a commercially available, high signal-to-noise, dual-band infrared scanner with real-time, 12-bit digital image processing software and display. The method creates color-coded images based on surface temperature variations of 0.2 degree(s)C. Unlike other less-sensitive methods, it maps true (corrected) temperatures by removing the (decoupled) surface emissivity mask equivalent to 1 degree(s)C or 2 degree(s)C; this mask hinders interpretation of apparent (blackbody) temperatures. Once removed, it is possible to identify surface temperature patterns from small diffusivity changes at buried object sites which heat and cool differently from their surroundings. Objects made of different materials and buried at different depths are identified by their unique spectral, spatial, thermal, temporal, emissivity and diffusivity signatures. The authors have successfully located the sites of buried (inert) simulated land mines 0.1 to 0.2 m deep; sod-covered rock pathways alongside dry ditches, deeper than 0.2 m; pavement covered burial trenches and cemetery structures as deep as 0.8 m; and aquifers more than 6 m and less than 60 m deep. The technology could be adapted for drug interdiction and pollution control. For the former, buried tunnels, underground structures built beneath typical surface structures, roof-tops disguised by jungle canopies, and covered containers used for contraband would be located. For the latter, buried waste containers, sludge migration pathways from faulty containers, and the juxtaposition of groundwater channels, if present, nearby, would be depicted. The precise airborne temperature-sensing technology has a promising potential to detect underground epicenters of smuggling and pollution.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 1991
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 1479, Surveillance Technologies, (1 August 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.44542
Show Author Affiliations
Nancy Del Grande, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Gregory A. Clark, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Philip F. Durbin, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
David J. Fields, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Jose D. Hernandez, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Robert J. Sherwood, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1479:
Surveillance Technologies
Sankaran Gowrinathan; Raymond J. Mataloni; Stanley J. Schwartz, Editor(s)

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