Seeker Technologies and The Mineseeker Foundation
This short video gives an overview of the plight of the landmine victims, the support for the Mineseeker Foundation and how the Seeker-Tec technology will enable the quick release of land that has been affected by landmines and UXO (Unexploded Ordnance). The video also gives a brief insight into the Seeker-Tec technology for uses other than the detection of landmines. Visit http://www.seeker-tec.com/ or http://www.mineseeker.org/ for more information
The Mineseeker Product - Work So Far
These trials demonstrated that airborne radar could produce the necessary data from a survey to map probable ordnance. The quality of information is good enough for trained personnel to be able to identify the different kinds of ordnance (type, manufacturer, live or neutralised etc). To quote from the conclusions of the report:
“During this time the airship flew for 103.2 hours, performing crew and operator training, surveying 30 sites of interest to the MACC (producing 30 hours of video tape and 500 still pictures) and performing radar tests against a fully ground truthed live mine test site and other test areas.
The survey pictures have been delivered, along with a survey report for each site, to the MACC for entry into the IMSMA database. The radar trial clearly demonstrated ability to image surface laid and buried mines and UXO.”
The initial tests of the technology required a large vibration free aerial platform and an airship was used for this purpose. The technology has since been considerably enhanced and minituarised.
(See Current Solution below).
Sample Output from the Kosovo Trial showing presence of an Anti-Tank mine.
The Current Solution
Since 2001, the quality of Ground Penetrating Synthetic Aperture Radar (GPSAR) has significantly improved, and the techniques for location identification, such as GPS, land mass mapping (eg Google Earth), and data analysis techniques using dedicated graphic processing chips have also leapt forward so that MO is confident that the concept can now be turned into a full solution. Although initially the outputs will require some human interpretation, development is now underway to allow data processing to be immediate and fully automated. This can also be integrated with video / photographic data and GPS data so that the output will be a human readable map, using HD images, showing clearly the location of suspected UXO in relation to visual, thermal and infra-red features as well as precise GPS co-ordinates.
The original equipment used in Kosovo was sourced from DERA (now QinetiQ). However, we now have a significantly more developed solution from independent defence contractors with whom we have now operated in Croatia.
Extensive trials are producing data that take this technology into new areas of achievement, as far as results and images are concerned. The technology package consisting of multiple sensors has been minituarised and can be carried by a variety of light aircraft and UAV's.
The new Mineseeker technology
The picture below shows a test site of 10,000 square metres. It clearly identifies buried objects along the tarmac road and on the surrounding land. The GPSAR technology box would be configured to local ground conditions. Metal objects in sandy soil are perhaps the easiest targets while plastic objects in loamy soil require different radar configuration. Various test data on multiple applications is available.
Enhanced Data Capture
The image above is unique in what it offers the market. However, it will be enhanced by the addition of new electro optical Multispectral Imaging fusion technology (MIR) pioneered by Mineseeker. This highly sophisticated visual, thermal, infra-red and geo-referenced imaging system will be fused with the radar imagery to provide a complete picture of ground surveyed from the air.
The GPSAR will show surface and sub-surface indications, with a ground breaking geo-referenced visual mosaic layer giving a detailed view of the area. The thermal image and infra-red layers will provide crucial additional information, allowing end users to have access to the maximum amount of essential information. In addition, LIDAR and magnetic sensors can be deployed and integrated into the results, allowing the full spectrum of MIR™ sensors to complete the picture.
The combination of such advanced and accurate systems will, for the first time, provide a total picture of landmine sites and enable highly effective mapping which will, in turn, support rapid mine clearance efforts.
Mineseeker’s approach heralds a new era in landmine detection, one in which areas riddled with mines and other unexploded ordnance will be subject to complete scrutiny and subsequently cleared for release to agricultural or other purposes.
Key to Mineseeker is its ability to successfully deploy technology in a field environment. This was established during the recent demonstration of the mine detecting technology in Croatia when Mineseeker operated from 2 “bare” field sites with only very basic facilities.
Mineseeker staff have very extensive experience in conducting commercial operations involving complex technological systems in areas of the world with limited local “life support” facilities. The ability to “put technology in the field” is a key requirement when deploying MIR and Mineseeker has already demonstrated its capability to accomplish this task.
Mineseeker has achieved a world first in deploying an airborne landmine detection system.
For more information on Mineseeker and the technology please visit www.mineseeker.com
Examples of Processed GPSAR Images from Croatia Demonstration