|NDT.net - April 2003, Vol. 8 No.4|
There is a large potential of acoustic methods in antipersonnel landmines detection based on materials characterisation. In this paper the resolution capability of one realisation of that principle is described and quantified. Resolution capability is modelled with different requirements imposed. Using appropriate experimental set-up, that quantity is determined in laboratory conditions for a representative, referent set of testing objects. Results obtained in modelling and experimental work show both the usefulness of resolution capability as an indicator of a buried object materials characterisation, and the reached level of buried object materials characterisation using applied approach.
Large number of 80 million mines left in more than 80 countries world-wide  cannot be efficiently removed using present day humanitarian demining [2, 3]. As a crucial phase in humanitarian demining, which is responsible for a majority of duration and risk, antipersonnel mine detection (APMD) has been recognised [3, 4]. These facts motivated scientists and experts from NDT community and related fields to start research and development of better APMD method and technique . Work conducted brought about necessity to differentiate between the buried object detection and classification of the buried object into mines or other objects. This is especially seen in probing [6, 7, 8, 9, 10], one of APMD techniques, which is regularly performed in humanitarian demining. It is suitable because of relatively low level of logistics required, and applicability in various terrains. Its drawbacks are large duration and large risk caused by physical contact established between the deminer's handprobe and buried mines . The contact is established several times with a particular object in order to establish its shape. As a rule, digging of the object is included, which is again connected with a large risk and time consumption. Overall, as the main problem of the probing technique we extract lack of confirmation capability. Therefore, a combination of probing and confirmation oriented technique brings about improvement in humanitarian demining.
Fig 1: Possible realisations of buried object materials characterisation sensor,
a) draft of one realisation, b) reduced cross-section of realisation discussed in text.
There have been several attempts to formulate such a combination of probing and confirmation oriented technique [6, 8, 9]. In these, confirmation was realised as materials acoustic characterisation, either by using induced acoustic emission , or by using low  and high frequency [6, 12, 13] ultrasonic waves. In a combination of probing and materials acoustic characterisation the former is detection, while the later is confirmation technique. A consequence is safer and faster detection process, hence the probe with characterisation sensor was coined Fast Probe . Such an approach is suitable especially for antipersonnel mines with low metal content, for which other techniques like metal detection are rather inefficient.
Within the OCULAR technique , in one of the recent Fast Probes formulation, shown on figure 1a, the materials acoustic characterisation is based on acoustic impedance matching. In more detail, ultrasonic impulse emitted from the transducer, mounted near the probes tip, is scattered at the interface between the probe and the buried object. Reflected part of the scattered impulse is registered by the transducer and subsequently analysed. In case of matched impedances, the transmission is maximal, i.e. the reflection is minimal. Hence, buried object surface material is recognised as the material causing minimal reflection of the ultrasonic impulse, in case of constant or controlled other parameters in the model. Acoustic impedances are matched so that this extreme case occurs when buried object surface is made of polymer, which in most cases means low metal content antipersonnel mine. Regarding acoustic impedance matching, it has been confirmed that the approach is fruitful in controlled laboratory conditions , in reduced geometry shown on figure 1b. Furthermore, in aligning the exploited conditions with realistic ones, the influence of non-characterised contact layer, made of local soil and formed between the probes tip and buried object surface, was analysed . It was shown how to include the homogeneous contact layer influence into the materials characterisation results. Additionally, influence of surface roughness was determined .
In this paper we define resolving power, a measure of the robustness of the system. This measure determines average difference between transmission factor values for different buried objects materials. It should be maximised, as in realistic conditions occur different sources of signal quality degradation, which are not considered here explicitly.
In the second section the underlying model is briefly sketched, and the resolving power defined. Results of the model are presented and discussed in the third section. Conclusions and lines of future development are given in the fourth section.
Ultrasonic impulse propagation is considered in the linear regime, for perpendicular incidence of longitudinal impulse on mutually planparallel and homogeneous layers. Boundary conditions on interfaces in the model are continuity of total elastic field and stress tensor normal projections. For a monochromatic wave, the transmission coefficient T is calculated using transfer matrix technique. Details of calculations are given elsewhere .
In case when the analysis is performed in the frequency domain of the registered signal, the quantity that measures dependence of T on buried object acoustic impedance Z4 is the following
where ti = di/vi Index 2 (3) refers to a layer which is adjacent to piezoelectric slab (buried object). Quantity ZMax is taken as the upper limit of acoustic impedances which buried objects surfaces achieve. Meaning of quantity sT is the following: in case of impedance matching there is pronounced maximum in T, and sT obtains relatively large value, curve A on figure 2. Quite the opposite characterises a case when impedances are not matched. Then T achieves values in relatively narrow interval, hence sT obtains relatively small value, curve B on figure 2. Therefore, maxima of sT point to set of values t2,3 and Z2,3 for which T spans rather large interval, what implies that there is clear resolution of different materials possible. Because larger s points to better resolution of different materials in contact with probes tip, it is called resolving power. This quantity is a particular realisation of one-parameter based classification of buried objects. More general situations require larger parameter set for classifications .
|Fig 2: Transmission coefficient as function of the buried object acoustic impedance. Z4. A matched impedances for Z4 = 3,2 MRayl, unmatched impedances. Values of resolving power are 0,05 and 0,005 for curves A and B, respectively.|
Frequency and parameters of the two-material slab are free parameters of the model. Because of the convenience frequency is fixed to 2 MHz in further considerations. Mechanical requirements, as discussed elsewhere, limit Z3 to few possible values. Here Z3 = 45 MRayl and ZMax = 50 MRayl were taken.
|Material||Piezoelectric slab||Layer 2||Layer 3||Buried object|
|Z, MRayl||7,2||3,2;6,8 and 18||45||3,2|
|Table 1: Acoustic impedances of layers as in figure 1b, which were used in calculations shown in this paper.|
Resolving power as a function of t2 and t3, for several Z2 is shown on Figures 3 and 4. Phase change for a wave of frequency 2 MHz between i-th layer boundaries is 2p rad for t1= 1/2. In graphs, the slightly smaller intervals of ts are shown.
From figure 3 it can be inferred that local maxima caused by changes in t3 are higher and narrower than local maxima caused by changes in t2. This can be related to corresponding acoustic impedance values. Furthermore, from intersection of the lines of local maxima it is seen that there does not occur constructive effect resulting in the brightest point in the graph, but that both peaks are averaged in a way. Graphs on figure 4 show similar trends. Marginal changes of one series of local maxima by variations in the parameters of the other layer show that in the exploited parameter region there is strong separation of impedance matching effects into one layer of two-material slab. If the acoustic impedances of these two layers were similar, then their effect would be that of a single matching layer. Graphically, a form of local maxima curves would be diagonal in s vs. t2,3 representation.
Fig 3: Resolving power for Z2 = 3,2 MRayl, a) 3D plot of one local maxima,
b) density plot showing several local maxima, represented as brighter regions. Lines
of intersecting local maxima repeat periodically.
Fig 4: Resolving power for a) f = 2 MHz and Z2 = 6,8 MRayl,
b) f = 2,2 MHz and Z2 = 3,2 MRayl.
While the aforementioned refers to matching of impedances in case when the polymer surface of buried objects is to be recognised, the contrary approach could be formulated. In it, the surfaces of buried objects not made of polymers should be differentiated. In that case, one obtains a false alarm reductor, which differentiates between metals, rocks and other similar objects on the one side and polymer objects on the other side. One example of parameter set bringing which brings about such a configuration is shown on figure 5. The effects are caused by the fact that for a given set of layer 2 parameters, layer 3 figures as a diffuse boundary of layer 4, which is the buried object. In that case, effectively there is one material layer, hence impedance matching conditions are known in analytic form
In case of Z1 = 7.2 MRayl and Z3 = 45 MRayl this gives Z2 = 18 MRayl. Therefore, on figure 5 is shown the case of one-layer impedance matching between piezoelectric ceramics and external protection layer. An additional consequence is that results for T and s depend negligibly on t3 , what has implications in production simplification of the accompanied device. In case of large enough values of buried objects acoustic impedances, these are similar to acoustic impedance of steel, what brings about impossibility of resolving these materials from steel. However, in the configuration of false alarm reducer this property is its advantage.
Fig 5: a) Transmission factor and b) resolving power. In both graphs f = 2
MHz and Z2 = 18 MRayl. In a)
t2 = 1/8 while results depend negligibly on t3.
The resolving power was defined for the approach to buried object materials characterisation based on acoustic impedance matching. This quantity is related to a pronounced structure in transmission factor taken as function of buried object acoustic impedance. The pronounced structure is related to existence of acoustic impedance matching with one type of materials of the buried objects. Generally, larger resolving power means that there is larger difference in transmission coefficient for a collection of different materials. If set of objects that are of interest has several distinct values of acoustic impedances, then it is appropriate to consider reduced version of resolving power in which integration is exchanged for summation over set of relevant acoustic impedances.
This work is part of the authors Ph.D. thesis.
The work was financed through the project CRO MoST 120 098.
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