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Clearing routes from hidden explosives and mine detection operations using the current minesweeping technology can sometimes pose risk to the soldiers. A revolutionary solution allows a better identification of potential threats has been recently developed. The US Army is developing a technology that visually alerts soldiers to hidden explosives in the ground rather than just providing them an audible notification during use of mine detector equipment.
Called real-time spatial location tracking, the technology can show sensor images of buried bombs on either a heads-up display or tablet attached to a handheld detector.
The technology gives soldiers an opportunity to actually see signatures in the ground without taking away their situational awareness on the battlefield. As a soldier sweeps with the device, a colored representation of the area — where orange means the user is close to a metallic object — appears on the screen.
With the device’s position location capabilities, information about where a soldier has swept, and what was found there, can be easily passed on, real-time, to observers in other locations. Current handheld minesweeping technology requires users to mark potential threats with sticks or other markers.
According to army.mil, the system also monitors how a soldier swings the mine detector as he or she uses it, to ensure they are not fatigued in such a way that it may cause them to miss a hidden object.
Other advanced technology to better discriminate between metal objects that the device finds is also being worked on. That way, a soldier can more quickly differentiate between harmless objects and would-be threats.
Mine detection robots could also be equipped with the technology to capture and send back imagery to soldiers in a nearby vehicle. Since the device tracks sweeping patterns, it could even serve as a training tool for soldiers.