Landmine Detection at F&M

Hackman Room 212

Introduction and Motivation

The detection and removal of landmines and other unexploded ordnance in current and former conflict zones is a major humanitarian task that can be leveraged by the use of technology to address the complexities and difficulties in correctly identifying mines. Typically more than 99% of a deminer's time is spent identifying and removing inert underground clutter. Sophisticated identification and imaging of underground objects (whether they be landmines or junk; either plastic or metal) can reduce this wasted time and mitigate the physical danger to the deminer. This demining technology comes in multiple forms and needs to work together in a single system to be maximally effective. This technology includes imaging (with LIDAR-enabled cameras for landscapes, and holographic radars for underground objects), ground-penetrating radar for object detection, robotics and field mobility assessments, real-time communication between different parts of the overall system, user databases that are populated in real-time with field data and which are accessible worldwide, wireless data transfer and communication between robots, sensors, users, and databases, and interfaces between users and the instrumentation.

With rapid advances of commercial technology, the costs are reduced while reliability and capability are increased (these are important considerations since cost, ease of use, and reliability are important for the end users of the technology in typically poor and/or underdeveloped conflict zones). Real-world conditions also dictate that the technology be field-ready and simple to use in order to be practical as a tool. These developments and the requirements of the overall problem point to an integrated technology approach, dubbed Industry 4.0 in engineering and industry parlance, which represents a fourth technology revolution. In this paradigm, cyber and physical systems communicate, merge, and integrate into a single, connected, decentralized system that is simple, cheap, and reliable. The name we give to this integrated cyber-physical approach to the landmine problem is Landmine Detection 4.0.

Our Work

Our research group at F&M is working in tandem with colleagues from Italy, Ukraine, an Jordan as a NATO-funded team to enhance and integrate existing and proven technology and the techniques that have been developed to address demining in the Ukraine conflict zone of Donbass. The existing work of this team has been successful in testing imaging techniques with holographic radars and with terrain analysis in the Ukraine conflict zone. The integration of these aspects of the system and others is underway.

Our work at F&M focuses on several aspects of the system development. These include:

Project Leaders at F&M

Current and Former Team Members at F&M

  • Cameron Crawford (American '23)
  • Aaron DiGregorio (F&M '22)
  • Ileane Ho (F&M '20)
  • Adem Imamovic (F&M '22)
  • Stasia Kuske (F&M '19)
  • Andrew Lara (F&M '24)
  • David Li (F&M '24)
  • Erik Lillegard (F&M '23)
  • Gaby Sallai (F&M '19)
  • Ethan Senatore (F&M '24)
  • Nina Simic (F&M '15)
  • Jack Sinton (F&M '20)
  • Yihao Zhang (F&M '23)

News Articles, Press, and Other

Project Funding

This work has been funded in part by the following projects from the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme: