Metal Detector Identifies Unexploded Bombs

Governments want to begin digging up unexploded bombs left behind following munitions tests and warfare. The problem is distinguishing unexploded bombs from man-made clutter or junk. Eugene Lavely of BAE Systems and his colleagues have developed a technique, called time-domain electromagnetic induction, to tell risks from trash. It uses a coil to send an electromagnetic pulse 15 metres into the ground. The pulse makes the things it hits reverberate like a struck drum, and the team have identified the reverberation signal of a torpedo-shaped metal object with a hollow core - where explosives may lie.

The researchers are now refining the method so that it is accurate enough to meet US standards, which require 99.9 per cent confidence that all bombs have been dug up before land can be used.

Learn more from New Scientist.

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