Infrared (IR) cameras; passive devices sensitive to radiation in the infrared part of the spectrum (partially due to the physical temperature of a body). They are capable of detecting under constrained circumstances buried and surface mines. Since mines retain or release heat at a different rate than their surroundings they can (in theory) be detected in dynamic conditions when heating or cooling is taking place. During natural temperature variations of the environment this may be possible by using IR cameras to measure the thermal contrast between the soil over a buried mine and nearby soil. The IR detection devices of potential interest normally operate in the 3-5 µm and 8-12 µm atmospheric "windows" which avoid water absorption frequencies; these correspond respectively to Medium Wave IR (MWIR) and Long Wave IR (LWIR).

Signature variations with time and environmental conditions are a persistent problem for thermal IR mine detection. Surface clutter from reflected light and inhomogeneous soil properties are also problematic. In many cases the size of these clutter artifacts is comparable to that of antipersonnel mines, which leads to false alarms. Thermal emission from foliage (at the temperature of living, respiring vegetation) tends to mask the temperature of the underlying soil (and the thermal mine signature).

Possible IR camera:


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