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Proceedings Paper

Neutralisation of antipersonnel mines with an Nd:YAG laser
Author(s): Willy A. Luethy; Thomas Rothacher
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Paper Abstract

We report on the possibility to use lasers as a demining tool to dispose mines from a safe distance. Most anti personnel (AP) mines consist of 10 g to 500 g of an explosive, a fuse and a plastic case which makes them very difficult to detect. In 90% of all AP mines trinitrotoluene (TNT) or a combination of TNT and other explosives is used. The interaction of laser radiation with TNT and possible mine wrapping materials is investigated based on spectroscopy and practical considerations. With a CW Nd:YAG laser the desired burning of the explosive is achieved. The interaction is rather based on the absorption of the mine case than on the weak absorption of the explosive. A portable CW Nd:YAG laser is described and experiments with real AP mines are performed. We have investigated the behavior of four different representative blast AP mines under laser irradiation at Bofors test centre in Sweden. Disposal of all available mines from a safe distance up to 50 meters is achieved. Laser incident power was in the range from 20 W to 60 W. Due to partial burning of the explosive charge the resulting detonation of mines is considerably reduced.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 December 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5620, Solid State Laser Technologies and Femtosecond Phenomena, (23 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.581182
Show Author Affiliations
Willy A. Luethy, Institute of Applied Physics (Switzerland)
Thomas Rothacher, Armasuisse (Switzerland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5620:
Solid State Laser Technologies and Femtosecond Phenomena
Jonathan A. C. Terry; W. Andrew Clarkson, Editor(s)

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