A Tactical Decision Aid to Determine Optimal Times to Acquire Buried IEDs With Thermal Imaging Systems
Small Business Information
Signature Research, Inc.
P.O. Box 346, Calumet, MI, -
AbstractMany IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried near roadways and exploded days or weeks after the emplacement. Digging a hole for IED emplacement and then refilling the hole fundamentally changes the heat transfer in the disturbed soil compared with surrounding undisturbed soil. This change is persistent for days, weeks and possibly longer and provides observable thermal contrast with infrared sensors. Thermal clutter signals arising from numerous nearby objects can compete with and obscure the buried IED signal. Fortunately, basic differences in heat transfer between clutter objects and buried IEDs result in periods during the 24 hour diurnal cycle where the clutter is low and the IED signal is observable. During these periods, the resulting probability of detecting buried IEDs is highest. We propose to develop a prototype software tool, E-SEARCH that incorporates physics-based heat transfer models of disturbed soils and clutter objects and predicts when detection is most probable based on weather forecast inputs. Requiring minimal operator attention and running on standard PC platforms in less than fifteen minutes, E-SEARCH will enable the warfighters to schedule valuable sensor assets efficiently thereby minimizing wasted efforts when probability of detecting an IED is low. We believe E-SEARCH will improve warfighter survivability.
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