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10 June 2005 A short wave infrared hyperspectral imager for landmine detection
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DRDC Suffield and Itres Research have jointly investigated the use of visible and infrared hyperspectral imaging for landmine detection since 1988. There has been considerable success detecting surface-laid landmines by classification of their visible/near infrared (VNIR - 400 to 1000 nm wavelength) spectral signatures, but it has not been possible to find VNIR spectral characteristics that would generically distinguish anthropogenic objects from natural features such as rocks, vegetation, soil, etc. Preliminary studies in 1998 suggested that it might be possible to develop such a generic classifier in the short wave infrared (SWIR) and that detection performance might improve. Because of a lack of available SWIR hyperspectral imagers with adequate performance for mine detection, a prototype pushbroom SWIR hyperspectral imager was developed and completed in summer 2002. The now commercially available instrument, sasi, has 160 bands over a spectral range of 850 to 2450 nm, signal to noise ratio of 400:1 with f/1.8 fore-optics, and 600 pixels over a 37.7° field of view. A number of mission flights have been carried out and excellent imagery obtained. In October 2003, Itres and DRDC Suffield personnel obtained field SWIR hyperspectral imagery in the DRDC Suffield Mine Pen of numerous surface-laid mines, one buried mine, other surface-laid human-made items, background materials and people from a horizontally scanning personnel-lift at an altitude of roughly 5 m. Preliminary indications are that a simple generic classification decision boundary should be able to distinguish surface-laid landmines from many human-made artifacts and natural materials. The buried mine was not detected, but the mine had been buried for several years and hence there would be no residual surface disturbance. Furthermore, the small sample size and limited observation time make it difficult to generalize about SWIR performance for buried mines. The instrument is described and the preliminary results of the trial, planned improvements and future research are discussed.
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John E. McFee, Steve Achal, Tyler Ivanco, and Cliff Anger "A short wave infrared hyperspectral imager for landmine detection", Proc. SPIE 5794, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets X, (10 June 2005);

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