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New Technology to Detect Plastic Landmines Underground

Dr. Manuchehr Soleimani, University of Bath

University of Bath researchers are developing an innovative new camera system capable of detecting landmines concealed underground.

The fact that modern day landmines are usually plastic instead of metal makes detection extremely difficult. In addition to the physical threats posed by landmines, the economic costs of landmine clearance with current technologies can be quite high.

The University’s Dr. Manuchehr Soleimani, Associate Professor in our Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering and Leader of the Engineering Tomography Lab (ETL), will lead a three-year, £100,000 ($156,220 USD) research project to develop technology that can differentiate between images of plastic and metallic elements within a single device, at depths of up to 10cm underground on varied terrain.

“Currently, manual metal detectors sweep minefields in a slow and time-consuming process which cannot detect non-metallic landmines,” said Soleimani. “We aim to develop an integrated technology to detect both metallic and non-metallic landmines and to improve the speed and reliability of this process.”

Initial findings have demonstrated positive results for the technology at finding both dielectric and metallic samples concealed underground.

Funding for the research was awarded via a competition organized by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and with funding from Sir Bobby Charlton’s charity Find A Better Way (FABW).

“I set up Find A Better Way to search for more effective technology to detect landmines and explosive remnants of war after witnessing first-hand the devastation these can cause to individuals and communities,” commented Sir Charlton. “Our partnership with the University of Bath will help us to make significant progress with our aim to deliver significant improvements in demining detection capability to ultimately negate the effects landmines and explosive remnants of war pose across the globe.”

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