Evaluating some factors that affect feasility of using ground penetrating radar for landmine detection

Research paper by Mohamed Metwaly, Ahmed Ismail, Jun Matsushima

Indexed on: 14 Aug '07Published on: 14 Aug '07Published in: Applied Geophysics


Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is one of the promising technologies that can be used to detect landmines. Many factors may affect the ability of GPR to detect landmines. Among those factors are: 1) the type of landmine material (metallic or plastic), 2) conditions of the host soil (soil texture and soil moisture), and 3) the radar frequency utilized. The impact of these factors on the ability of GPR to detect landmines is investigated by studying their effect on the dielectric permittivity contrast between the landmine and the host soil, as well as on the attenuation of the radar waves. The impact of each factor was theoretically reviewed and modeled using the Matlab and Mathcad software packages. Results of the computer modeling were correlated with GPR data acquired for metallic and plastic landmine types. It was found that the ability of GPR to detect landmines depends to a great extent on the landmine type, water content of the host soil, utilized radar frequency, and soil texture. The landmines are much easier to detect than plastic landmines for any soil conditions and any radar frequency. Increasing the soil’s moisture content, regardless of soil texture, eases the detection of the plastic landmine and worsens the detection of the metallic mines. Increasing the percentage of clay in the soil causes the same effect as the moisture content. However, higher radar frequency delivers better results for landmine detection as long as the percentage of clay and the moisture content in the soil remains low. The results of this study are expected to help in selecting optimum radar antennae and data acquisition parameters depending on the landmine type and environmental conditions.