Sensor Fusion for the Detection of Landmines

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The detection of buried anti-personnel mines (APMs) is widely considered as a problem which may only be solved with a combination of two or more complementary sensors. We present processing and fusion results obtained from a multisensor data set, acquired with a pulse induction metal detector (MD), a pulsed ultra wide band ground penetrating radar (GPR) and a 3–5 μ thermal infra-red (IR) camera. Various types of soils, clutter objects and burial conditions were recorded. Anti-personnel mines included minimum metal mines as well as mines with a significant metal content. We use a special projection to map a 3D GPR data cube, with time or depth as vertical co-ordinate, into a horizontal plane view 2D image. Object contours are then derived, based on an edge extraction method, followed by an automatic detection of circular shapes with a Hough-transform. In the association step, the stand-off IR image, the metal detector and GPR images and related detections are mapped onto a common cartesian grid on the ground surface. Detection results are fused on a decision level, using a Bayesian approach. Our results indicate that the GPR performance approximately matches that of the metal detector. With both sensors all metallic mines and around 60% of the minimum metal mines were detected. In the case of two false alarms per square meter combined detection probability clearly exceeds single sensor performance.

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