Characterizing Optical Properties of Disturbed Surface Signatures
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh United States
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The burial of objects disturbs the ground surface in visually perceptible ways. This project investigated how such information can inform detection via imaging from visible through mid-infrared wavelengths. Images of the ground surface where objects were buried were collected at multiple visible through mid-infrared wavelengths prior to burial and afterward at intervals spanning approximately two weeks. Signs of soil disturbed by emplacement change over time and exposure in the natural environment and vary in salience across wavelengths for different time periods. Transient cues related to soil moisture or illumination angle can make signatures extraordinarily salient under certain conditions. Longpass shortwave infrared and multi-band mid-infrared imaging can enhance the signature of disturbed soils overvisible imaging. These findings add knowledge and understanding of how soil disturbances phenomena can be exploited to aid detection.