The Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory at the US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development
Center (ERDC) has developed a near-surface properties laboratory to provide complete characterization of soil. Data
from this laboratory is being incorporated into a comprehensive database, to enhance military force projection and
protection by providing physical properties for modelers and designers of imaging and detection systems. The database
will allow cross-referencing of mineralogical, electromagnetic, thermal, and optical properties to predict surface and
subsurface conditions. We present an example data set from recent collection efforts including FTIR in the Near-IR,
MWIR, and LWIR bands, magnetic susceptibility (500 Hz to 8 GHz), and soil conductivity and complex permittivity
(10 μHz to 8 GHz) measurements. X-ray data is presented along with a discussion of site geology, sample collection
and preparation methods, and mineralogy. This type of data-collection effort provides useful constraint information of
soil properties for use in modeling and target detection. By establishing real ranges for critical soil properties, we are
able to improve algorithms to define anomalies that can indicate the presence of land mines, unexploded ordnance
(UXOs), improvised explosive devices (IEDs), tunnels, and other visually obscured threats.
A high-resolution, ground-based 3D laser scanner was recently evaluated for terrestrial site characterization of variable-surface minefield sites and generation of surface and terrain models. The instrument used to conduct this research was a Leica HDS3000 3D laser scanner. Two study sites located in the mid-western United States were used for this analysis. A very dense vegetation site (Grass Site) and a bare soil site (Dirt Site) with intermittent rocks and sparse vegetation were selected for data collection to simulate both obscured and semi-obscured minefield sites. High-density scans (0.2 cm to 2.0 cm) were utilized for Cyra target acquisition and were commensurate with size and distance to target from scanner location. Medium-density scans (2.0 cm to 5.0 cm) were chosen for point cloud generation of each site with approximately 10 percent overlap between field scans. To provide equivalent, unobstructed viewing perspectives from all scan locations at each site, the scanner was positioned on a trailer-mounted, chain-driven lift and raised to a scan height of 7.62 m above the ground. Final registration to UTM projected coordinate system of the multiple scan locations for the Dirt Site and Grass Site produced mean absolute errors of 0.014 m and 0.017 m, respectively. The laser scanner adequately characterized surface roughness and vegetation height to produce contour and terrain models for the respective site locations. The detailed scans of the sites along with the inherent, natural vegetation characteristics present at each site provide real-time discrimination of site components under contrasting land surface conditions.