Reference project: HOPE (Hand-held Landmine Detector)

Field Measurement

Development of a Radar sensor for the Detection of anti-personnel mines.

Customer: European Community, Supported by ESA (European Space Agency)

The objective of the HOPE project was to develop and build a modern, efficient reliable handheld mine detection tool as a contribution to the European and world wide Humanitarian De-mining programs, particularly in countries facing the danger caused by millions of anti-personnel mines left behind from a former war. The project was supported by the European Commission.

The concept of HOPE is a de-mining system consisting of three individual sensors. A reduction of the false alarm rate in contrast to a conventional metal detector de-mining system is only possible, when the metal detector (MD), the ground penetration radar (GPR) and the microwave radiometer (MWR) will be used in combination. This mine detection system should be able to find plastic mines on the ground and in the underground as well. To achieve these requirements the output of the sensors has to be processed with advanced methods for signal processing.

Contribution of RST:

Within the project RST developed an innovative high-resolution GPR system. To comply with the requirements of a handheld mine detector, this GPR was designed to give maximum performance while maintaining low cost, weight and power consumption. Our design speciality - the stepped-frequency radar - proved to be a valuable tool to reach these goals.

Specifications of the HOPE GPR:

  • Frequency band: 2 - 6 GHz
  • Number of frequency steps: 256
  • Resolution (r = 4): 3 cm
    Power consumption: < 10W at 12 V DC
  • Weight: 1.5 kg
  • Size: 150 x 120 x 60 mm³

The project ended in November 2001 after a demonstrator was tested under controlled field conditions. Due to lack of funding the development was discontinued.

Main Project Partners:

  • Vallon GmbH: Project Management, Metal Detector
  • DLR Institute for High Frequency and Radar Technology: MWR
  • RMA / Signal and Image Centre: positioning system, signal processing
  • University of Karlsruhe, IHE: Antennas for GPR and MWR
  • Politecnico di Milano: 3D GPR image focusing