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Experimental Evaluation of the Apparent Temperature Contrast Created by Buried Mines as Seen by an IR Imager,

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The detection of buried mines is a problem of prime interest internationally. One potential method to succeed in this task is to use passive IR imaging to form thermal images of the soil surface. Even though this technique has been intensively investigated for the last 15 years, only few publicly reported studies show quantitative measures of the apparent temperature contrast at the soil surface above buried mines. This document aims to improve this situation. Apparent temperature contrasts are measured for different mine-soil combinations over 24 hour periods with a camera sensitive to long wave infrared 8-12 micrometer. The effect of the variation of burial depth is investigated and special attention is taken to differentiate the thermal effects associated with the soil disturbance from the mine itself. A maximum average of 2 degrees C in apparent thermal contrast disappears when the burial depth exceeds 8 cm for the case where the thermal disturbance is related to the buried mine only. A 50 increase -3 degrees C is observed when the thermal effect of the soil disturbance is present. Furthermore, this last apparent thermal contrast shows little dependency with the burial depth. These results are promising for the detection of mines buried in compacted soil. However, serious reservations about an acceptable false alarm rate and the duration of the thermal effected created by the soil disturbance are expressed.

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  • Land Mine Warfare
  • Infrared Detection and Detectors

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