Soil Electromagnetic Properties and Metal Detector Performance – Theory and Measurement


  1. Cross, G.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
Metal detectors are unquestionably the workhorses of humanitarian demining. Although hybrid dual-sensor systems incorporating a ground penetrating radar (GPR) have recently been introduced and are gaining acceptance, a standard electromagnetic induction (EMI) sensor remains the primary mode of detection. Despite ongoing evolution and refinement of metal detector technology, however, the practical performance of both continuous wave (FDEM) and pulse induction (TDEM) systems continues to be restricted by so-called “soil noise” effects. Generally, “problem” or “difficult” soils reduce signal to noise ratio and increase the false-detection rate. At certain locations, the soil effect is so severe as to render a given metal detector practically inoperable. Although soil interference is well established and widely appreciated, the precise origin( s) of related noise has remained elusive as evidenced by the range of common descriptions for problem soils, including “lateritic soil”, “mineralized soil”, “conducting soil” and “magnetic soil”. The absence of clarity and definitive understanding has impeded specification of appropriate methods and procedures for related assessment of soil conditions and for predicting the nature and extent of corresponding influence on a given metal detector technology. To address the foregoing situation, the study reported herein has been part of a broader international effort to define and quantify the effects of soil electro
Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-CR-2009-062 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Nov 2008
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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