NQR Landmine Clearance

ARIES – Advanced Radiofrequency-spectroscopic Intelligent Explosives Sensor

 

Mine, not Mine-like: Landmines and other explosives remnants of conflict cause thousands of casualties and keep millions of acres of land out-of-use long after conflicts end.  Current approaches detect anomalies – mine-like objects or metal in the ground – or use animals (dogs, rats, bees) to “sniff” for traces of explosives vapour, but it has long been recognized that there is a need in some scenarios (cluttered terrain, ground contaminated with trace explosives from detonations) for an approach that directly detects the presence of bulk explosives.  To meet this requirement, the King’s College London team have come up with ARIES – Advanced Radio-frequency-spectroscopic Intelligent Explosives Sensor.

 

Technical Development

 

Having studied the requirements for successful QR detection and the approach that deminers takes to finding landmines, the King’s College London team have come up with the ARIES system mounted on the tip of a prodder of the type used to resolve alarms (from a metal detector, GPR or search animals).  This portable, battery-powered system has already undergone preliminary trials in Croatia.  The device works on a simple “red light-green-light-yes-no” output and do not require operators to have any technical or scientific background.  The prodder still functions as a mechanical prodder, so nothing is lost by the adaptation.

 

 

 

 

Patent Status

 

Priority UK patent application

 

Technical Background

 

The explosive detection sensors employ the radio-frequency spectroscopic technique “quadrupole resonance” (QR) to detect the bulk explosives content of the landmine.  Nitrogen (14N), a component of explosives found in landmines, is QR active.  Each explosive has its own unique NQR signature, ensuring selectivity.  The approach is aimed at the hard-to-detect minimum metal mines.  The cases of such mines (plastic or wood) are transparent to radiofrequency pulses going one way, and the QR signals emitted by the explosive content of the mine, coming back.  The challenge is that the QR signals are weak, and more difficult to detect the farther away the object is.  Having studied the requirements for successful QR detection and the approach that deminers takes to finding landmines, the King’s College London team have come up with the ARIES system mounted on the tip of a prodder of the type used to resolve alarms (from a metal detector, GPR or search animals).

 

 

 

 

Patent Information:
Category(s):
Physical Sciences
For Information, Contact:
Mugdha Joshi
IP & Licensing Manager
King's College London
mugdha.joshi@kcl.ac.uk
Inventors:
Jamie Barras
Keywords: