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Proceedings Paper

Distributed sensing and probing with multiple search agents: toward system-level landmine detection solutions
Author(s): Donald E. Franklin; Andrew B. Kahng; M. Anthony Lewis
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Paper Abstract

The problem of landmine detection has been studied for decades. Mine detection systems have typically been developed by first identifying a sensor technology, then testing on particular manmade testbeds, then deploying the sensor on a vehicle or manportable device. Despite much effort, current systems still exhibit gaps between existing and desired capability, e.g., in terms of rate of advance, detection rate, and false alarm rate within demonstration testbeds. In this paper, we propose a new system-level approach to landmine detection. We argue that 'the landmine detection problem' cannot be attacked in a piecewise fashion: system-level solutions must simultaneously consider functional requirements, sensor technologies, models of sensors, the method of sensor application, and the platforms from which sensors are applied. This perspective allows us to shift our focus from the previous emphasis on novel sensor technology, and to go somewhat beyond traditional doctrines governing standoff or manportable detection. We first propose a new theory of geometric sensing and probing in the mine detection context. Specifically, we propose new formulations of 'object identification by probing' which correspond to various sensing modalities. We demonstrate that multiple agents can achieve probe classes that are not serializable for emulation by a single probe agent. With this in mind, our second main contribution lies in proposing a new paradigm for landmine detection, based on (i) close-in observation with simple spectra, and (ii) small, inexpensive, networkable robotic sensing platforms which can act in a cooperative fashion to implement powerful multi-agent probing strategies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 June 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2496, Detection Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets, (20 June 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.211366
Show Author Affiliations
Donald E. Franklin, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Andrew B. Kahng, Univ. of California/Los Angeles (United States)
M. Anthony Lewis, Univ. of California/Los Angeles (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2496:
Detection Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets
Abinash C. Dubey; Ivan Cindrich; James M. Ralston; Kelly A. Rigano, Editor(s)

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