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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Detecting Hidden Threats


Components of the explosive-detecting technology being tested.

University of Delaware researchers are working to develop a system that can identify landmines and other explosive devices from a distance.

Credit: Evan Krape/U.S. Army Research Lab

Researchers at the University of Delaware (UD) are developing technology to detect explosive devices from a distance.

UD professor Chandra Kambhamettu has received a five-year, $1-million grant from the U.S. Army Research Office to develop a system that can identify landmines, improvised explosive devices, and other homemade bombs.

Kambhamettu's team is creating an augmented reality system that will use traditional cameras, thermal infrared sensing, and ground-penetrating radar to find and classify potentially dangerous objects from up to 30 meters away.

The team says the multi-camera system could be deployed on autonomous vehicles, drones, or robots sent to scout the surroundings before troops enter a new area, and the system is being tested on vehicles at a military training facility.

The researchers will collect data from the cameras, apply deep learning to the data, and develop an algorithm to make target detection more effective; they also will visualize scenarios in a virtual reality environment.

From University of Delaware
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