Mines Action Canada Competition

Necessary reading to understand Mine's Action Canada's demining outlook.

Finding Material


Using the Internet for Landmine Projects


General Summaries

The Canadian Department of National Defense has several summaries with pictures. Good for getting your feet wet.(Summary)
    Handheld Mine Detection
    Detection Technologies Which Do Not Detect Explosives
                                          Which Detect Explosives
    Airborne Detection of Minefields
    Point Neutralization R & D
    Explosive Breaching

The US Department of Defense has a technology catalog which overviews their (mostly high-tech) tools (Summary)

See also:
  Mine detection technologies summaries.
  Mine search and/or destroy robot summaries.

Who's who
Lists organizations involved in solving the global landmine problem, especially university research centres.


Mine Construction

Chemical & Eng News, Mar '97 article contains a little on detonator action and explosives used. (Chem)
Chemical & Engineering News  March 10, 1997 American Chemical Society
Searching for better landmine detectors Specific, rapid, and cost-effective detection is key
printed   A sidebar in an article above.
Chemistry is helping develop tools to find and remove mines; banning them will require political will.

John Walker describes eight types with pictures. Common anti-personnel mines. (Mines)


Related topics

Battery Chargers

Mine Detection Technologies


Demining Technology Center (DeTeC) at Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne (EPFL)
  1. Ph. Machler, "Detection Technologies for Anti-Personnel Mines," A Brief Summary of several methods, usually with references. (Sensors Survey)
  2. Gros & Bruschini, "Sensor Technologies for the Detection of Antipersonnel mines. A survey of current research and system developments," ISMCR'96. (Sensor Survey)
  3. Bruschini & Gros, "A Survey of Current Sensor Technology Research for the Detection of Land mines", SusDem '97. (Sensor Survey)
Summary of Chemical Detection devices, some rather far out. [Alt source Chem & Eng News] (Chem Summ)

Bruschini & Gros, "A Survey of Research on Sensor Technology for Landmine Detection," Journal of Humanitarian Demining; Surveys research on landmine sensor technology in more detail than most. (Sensor Survey)

Home page for Subsurface Geotechnical:
    Gives no technical details, but tells roughly what applications are handled by each method. Methods include ground resistance, magnetometer measurements, and ground-penetrating radar.

Detection Methods

 Metal Detection
    The metal detector is the most popular sensor to detect mines. Unfortunately many mines are mostly plastic.

Prodding the Ground
    Prodding by hand is presently the only way that guarantees an exhaustive detection of any landmine.
Ground Conductivity

    Clearing mine fields by modified tanks, trucks and tractors.

Acoustics and Acoustic Imaging

Photoacoustic Spectroscopy
    Pulsing a laser in air causes molecules in the air to heat and cool. This cycling causes an acoustic wave the energy and spectrum of which can identify the molecules. Jaycor has a project in this area. [Brief Mention]

Thermal Imaging, IR.
    Buried mines have a different density than the surrounding ground - thus retaining or dissipating heat at a different rate. These temperature differentials can be seen at seen at dawn and dusk.

Plant indicators
    A not yet explored idea to find buried mines is to breed plants sensitive to the presence of TNT in the soil. [Brief Summary]

Odor sensor
    Dogs are used to find mines. They are good for finding isolated mines, or whether a field is mined.
Cal Tech is working on an artificial nose. [Brief Mention]

Antibodies and Genetically Engineered Biosensors
    Antibodies are very selective to other molecules. Could they be made sensitive to TNT? [Brief Summary] Some people even talk about genetically engineered cockroaches.
In Sweden, Bofors Applied Technology used a quartz crystal covered with antibodies. When TNT binds to the antibodies, the crystal frequency changes [Brief Mention]

Forced reaction of TNT by Laser
 Light energy triggers the explosive reaction of the TNT molecule. The heat increase can then by detected. The IBM research lab in Switzerland has found a new type of temperature sensor based on the deformation of nano-technology cantilever beams. [Brief Summary] Barringer Technologies is usin g this for mine detection. [Brief Mention]

Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS)
    IMS separates ionized molecular compounds on the basis of their transition times when subjected to an electric field in a tube. This time is then compared to stored transition times of known compounds. Therefore it is possible to distinguish TNT from other molecules. This technique is fast. [Brief Summary]

Ion-Trap Mass Spectrometry
    Molecular ions corresponding to explosives are excited to dissociate into fragments. Negative ions are attracted by a potential and fall into traps according to mass and charge. [Brief Mention]

Reversal Electron Attachment Detector
    When high electronegative groups like NO2 are hit by low energy electrons the electrons attach efficiently. A detector using this is being developed at NASA's JPL. [Brief Mention]

Impulse Radar or Microwave
    The measure of the resonance frequencies of the ground to a radar impulse depends on buried objects. At frequencies whose wavelengths are comparable to the overall size of the object, the smaller details of the structure are irrelevant, making it possible to easily identify the general shape and the material properties of a body.  [Brief Summary]
Jaycore describes its radar system that excites the self-resonant frequencies of targets.

Surface-Penetrating Radar

Thermal Neutron Excitation
    Slow (thermal) neutrons activate nitrogen and chlorine and cause them to emit gamma rays of known spectra.
Science Applications International and DREO have developed prototypes. [Brief Mention]

Nuclear Quadrapole Resonance
    Probing Nitrogen-14 with certain radio frequencies will give characteristic signals in the same way an NMR scan in a hospital does. Quantum Magnetics is developing detectors. [Brief Mention]
J. Humanitarian Demining devotes 2  pages to NQRs in its survey and gives several journal references.

X-ray Tomography
    In X-ray tomography, the emitted radiation, either in the form of neutrons or gamma rays, is designed to react with different elemental components of the object of interest to produce a reaction particular to the specific detector application.  [Brief Summary], [Mention]
     Draw your own conclusions  [Unmonitored Reference]

Battery Chargers

Metal Detection

Product Descriptions Operation Theory Circuits


  1.       Andrew Palmer, The  Metal Detector Book, avaliable in the Ottawa bubllic library.


Prods, Visors, Shields

Ground Conductivity

Ground conductivity as a method of mine detection is mentioned by the Canadian Dept. of National Defense in their technologies list. They say only that it is not proven.

A conductivity devise to measure ore thickness is mentioned in the Christian Science Monitor


Product Descriptions Link Pages

Mechanical Clearance

Acoustics, Acoustic Imaging

J. Don, "Using acoustic impulses to identify a buried nonmetalic object," 1994 Acoust Soc. Am. Meeting
http://www.physics.monash.edu.au/research/impuacou/ finds J.Don but not the paper.
J. Don, C.G., Lawrence, D.E. and Rogers, A.J., "Using acoustic impulses to detect buried objects," 16th Int. Cong. On Acoustics, Seattle, USA., June 1998: J.Acoust. Soc.Am. 103 (5, Pt 2) 2950 (1998).

National Center for Physical Acoustics, University of Mississippi
Dr. James Sabatier uses acoustics to find buried objects including landmines.
In a recent initial round of tests at Fort A.P. Hill near Fredericksburg, Va., a technique devised by Dr. James Sabatier detected 100 percent of the antipersonnel and antitank mines without a single false alarm. The system uses sound waves and laser beams to scan the ground's surface and identify vibrational patterns produced by buried mines.

A Jaycor commercial preproduct description using ultrasound. Done in air.

J. Humanitarian Demining devotes two pages to ultrasound in its survey and gives two references.
Horowitz P., et al, "New technological approaches to humanitarian demining," (report JSR-96-115), JASN, The MITER Corp., McLean, Virginia, Nov. 1996.

Kercel, S.W. et al. "Novel methods for detecting buried explosive devices," Proc SPIE '96,  pp.467-477.

Accoustic sensors at 25kHz are used in a Scientific American Experiment (Nothing to do with land mines). They describe how to drive the transducers and where to obtain them in  "Producing Light from a Bubble of Air," by Robert A. Hiller and Bradley P. Barber, Sci Amer., pp. 96-98, Feb. 1995.

Thermal Imaging, IR

J. Humanitarian Demining devotes 1.5  pages to IR in its survey and gives several journal references.

From Sean Dorf , James VanDalen and Eric Charron

describes parts, scehmatics and software for making IR detectors from old TV remotes etc.

IR camera vendor. describes applications and some technical details.
Prices on IR cameras range from $8000 to $80,000.

Infra-red introduction

Contains current landmine sensor sensitivities and ranges.

Photoacoustic Spectroscopy

Jaycor has an ultrasensitive, real-time portable device for the detection of trace compounds in the air.
Click for a good one page summary of its principle of operation (Chem. PhotoAc)
Odor Sensors including Dogs
Christian Science Monitor "For Insight Into Finding Land Mines, Scientists Have Gone to the Dogs" Mentions chemical-sensitive fluorescent dyes at the end of optical fibers.
Electrical-conductivity devise that measures ore vein thickness
X-Ray scattering imager (Sniff)

A Table of Bibliographies for Vapor Detection of Landmines
Get paper copy yourself I think.

Commercial sniffers
Portable Chemical/Explosive Detection System
Jaycor has an ultrasensitive, real-time device for the detection of trace compounds in the air.
Also a good one-page summary of its principle of operation.

Surface-Penetrating Radar  (Ground-Penetrating Radar)


Comments on using GPRadar are included in several magnetometer summaries.

The home page of the Ground Penetrating Radar Group at the Unversity of Cape Town. Contains information on the development of low-cost, high-performance SFCW Ground Penetration Radars. The primary application is Landmine detection. This page includes a page:-
MineRad, A Ground Penetrating Radar for Landmine Detection (printed)

C. Bruschini et al, "Ground PenetratingRadar and Induction Coil Sensor Imaging for Antipersonnel Mines detection," Resutlts of combining the two methods. (Grd Pent Radar)
http://diwww.epfl.ch/w3lami/detec/grp96.html#ICS imaging

J. Humanitarian Demining article covers testing ground penetrating radar in Cambodia. The hard ground, 40 degree heat and false alarms changed a lot of preconceptions. Five references on detection testing including one on sandboxes. (Grd Pent Radar)

David Daniels' book, Surface-Penetrating Radar has won the Rayleigh Book Award of the Institute of Electrical Engineers, (IEE) for the most outstanding publication of the year (1997). Experts in the field have acknowledged the book as the first to cover the detection of landmines and buried weapons using radar.
320pp., ISBN 0 85296 862 0, 1996, 85 Pounds US$ 139; published by INSPEC, Inc
Hardcover (December 1996)
Inspec/IEE; ISBN: 0852968620
Barns and Nobel: bn.com Price: $139.00, Special Order: Ships 3-5 weeks
Chapters does not know it exists. Amazon.com says it is out of print.
$130 from FatBrain

PIERS 1997 Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium
July 7-11, 1997 Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
This is the big names in SPR. Only titles are on the web.
But a good source of names for further searches.

A bibliography of ground-penetrating radar papers from Ohio State, starting with:
1.  D. L. Moffatt and R. J. Puskar, ``A Subsurface Electromagnetic Pulse Radar,'' Geophysics,  June 1976.
Some of the more recent reference have links to the WWW.

Thermal Neutron Excitation

J. Humanitarian Demining devotes 2  pages to thermal neutrons in its survey and gives several journal references.


Battery Chargers  For Demining Equipment

Some references from the Electrochemical Society site. -------------------------------

Robots, Vehicle Mounts


Links Pages

http://www.pitt.edu/~ginie/lm/mine_www_link.html.  Landmines on WWW sites and references.

http://www.cbc.umn.edu/~mwd/landmines.html.  Summary of landmine WWW pages

http://www.mece.ualberta.ca/landmine.html. U of Alberta links. Their obsolete URL appears on many sites.

http://www.demining.brtrc.com/Srcs.htm. US Dept National Defense humanitarian demining links.
A large list with no comments but organized as:
    Commercial Demining Companies,
    Information Resources,
    International and Non-Government Organizations,
    Research & Development (Academic, Government, International, Private),
    United Nations.

http://www.cordis.lu/esprit/src/hphdrtd.htm, ESPRIT Humanitarian Demining R&D Projects on sensors, fusing multiple sensors, and vehicle-mounted sensors (Summary ESPIRIT)

http://diwww.epfl.ch/w3lami/detec/minelinks.html. Gives EPFL links and  technical articles.
http://diwww.epfl.ch/w3lami/detec/mine10links.html. Annotated Links including a section marked technical.

http://www.hdic.jmu.edu/hdic/demining.htm. James Madison University Links

http://www.mech.uwa.edu.au/jpt/demining/links.html. Annotated links.

http://www.cfcsc.dnd.ca/links/peace/mines.html. Large bunch of links from Canadian Forces College.

http://www.uh.edu/~jbutler/geophysics/reference.html. Links for many geophysical methods. Many are the basis for mine detection. Worth following up.

http://www.demining.brtrc.com/Srcs.htm. Other sources of mine iInformation

http://www.pgs.ca/pages/ldmn0.html. Anti-Personnel Land Mine Ban Project of "Physicians for Global Survival"
Have good links to major sites, like the Livermore Labs below.!

http://www.llnl.gov/landmine/landmine_bibliography.html, Lawrence Livermore Labs commented bibliography

See also ground conductivity link pages.

SPI E Proceedings

The major source of technical papers on demining.

Miscilaneous Disorganized References

ountermine information focuses on three areas: Threat, Databases and Mine Awareness.

The proliferation of landmines occurs most frequently in conflict-ravaged, lesser-developed nations,

Humanitarian Demining Developmental Technologies 1998
Table of Contents Main Page Document Available in PDF Format

John Walkers most excellent slides source.

Workshop on Identification of Standard Methodologies in the Context of Anti-Personnel Landmines Localisation and Identification, organized by Advanced Techniques Unit, Space Applications Institute, Joint Research Centre, European Commission 27-29 October 1997, JRC-Ispra, Italy
Summary of the Workshop recommendations and findings Compiled by S. Fantechi
Worth another look, Not printed.

Description of projects for landmine information systems.(Not printed)
Look for GeoModel Inc. didn't get URL they dhave a ground resistivity machine I think
Technology Database but of requirements Not much use
Just maybe this gets into ISP
put 2nd-ISP-95 in "md"
The right link to James Madison University.
This has a web-based demining magazine

This is a USDofD publication
gv on suns will not read their pdf.

Starting point for his course. Very good

Open-File Report 95-77
A bibliography of some geophysical computer programs, databases, and maps from the U.S. Geological Survey, 1971-1994