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Proceedings Paper

Chemical sensing thresholds for mine detection dogs
Author(s): James M. Phelan; James L. Barnett
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Paper Abstract

Mine detection dogs have been found to be an effective method to locate buried landmines. The capabilities of the canine olfaction method are from a complex combination of training and inherent capacity of the dog for odor detection. The purpose of this effort was to explore the detection thresholds of a limited group of dogs that were trained specifically for landmine detection. Soils were contaminated with TNT and 2,4-DNT to develop chemical vapor standards to present to the dogs. Soils contained ultra trace levels of TNT and DNT, which produce extremely low vapor levels. Three groups of dogs were presented the headspace vapors from the contaminated soils in work environments for each dog group. One positive sample was placed among several that contained clean soils and, the location and vapor source (strength, type) was frequently changed. The detection thresholds for the dogs were determined from measured and extrapolated dilution of soil chemical residues and, estimated soil vapor values using phase partitioning relationships. The results showed significant variances in dog sensing thresholds, where some dogs could sense the lowest levels and others had trouble with even the highest source. The remarkable ultra-trace levels detectable by the dogs are consistent with the ultra-trace chemical residues derived from buried landmines; however, poor performance may go unnoticed without periodic challenge tests at levels consistent with performance requirements.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 August 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4742, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets VII, (13 August 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.479126
Show Author Affiliations
James M. Phelan, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
James L. Barnett, Sandia National Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4742:
Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets VII
J. Thomas Broach; Russell S Harmon; Gerald J. Dobeck, Editor(s)

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