A Sensor Fusion Method for Detection of Surface Laid Land Mines

Land mines are a huge problem in conflict time and after. Methods used to detect mines have not changed much since the 1940’s. Research aiming to evaluate output from different electro-optical sensors and develop methods for more efficient mine detection is performed at FOI. Early experiments with laser radar sensors show promising results, as do analysis of data from infrared sensors.

In this thesis, an evaluation is made of features found in laser radar- and in infrared -sensor data. The tested features are intensity, infrared, a surfaceness feature extracted from the laser radar data and height above an estimated ground plane.

A method for segmenting interesting objects from background data using the expectation-maximization algorithm and a minimum message length criterion is designed and implemented. A scatter separability criterion is utilized to determine the quality of the features and the resulting segmentation.

The method is tested on real data from a field trial performed by FOI. The results show that the surfaceness feature supports the segmentation of larger object with smooth surfaces but gives no contribution to small object with irregular surfaces.

The method produces a decent result of selecting contributing features for different neighbourhoods of a scene. A comparison with a manually created target mask of the neighbourhood and the segmented components show that in most cases a high percentage separation of mine data and background data is possible.
Source: Linköping University
Author: Westberg, Daniel

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