Portable mine detector system developed

Friday, 04 April, 2008

The Sundance SMT365 DSP module is being used to help develop portable humanitarian mine detector (PHMD) technology. The PHMD system has been trialled in the field as part of an effort to improve the speed and accuracy of mine detection.

The PHMD system developed by QinetiQ uses a pulse induction metal detector combined with a ground-penetrating radar array to discriminate between minimum metal anti-personnel mines and small metal clutter.

The signals were used to provide an audiovisual interface for the operator. A capacitive sensor was added to provide information to aid processing of the radar responses and to provide feedback to the operator of the position of the sensors above the ground.

The ground-penetrating radar used high-speed DSP and all-digital MLBS waveform generation with custom 9 GHz chips. Data was captured over an LVDS datalink and a serial port for the metal detector.

Processing, 3D focusing and anomaly detection were carried out using two of Sundance's SMT365 DSP modules featuring Texas Instruments' DSP tightly coupled to a Xilinx Virtex FPGA.

"This was an incredibly complex problem to solve and given the operational challenges of mine detection it was critical that the complexity was hidden from the operator," said Flemming Christensen, managing director of Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd.

"By combining a range of high-performance and breakthrough technologies, the QinetiQ team made a very significant contribution to improving the speed and accuracy of mine detection and Sundance is proud to have played a part in that."

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