The demining methods presently used by army or by civilians (i.e., dogs, metal detectors, mechanical systems, etc.) are not appropriate to ensure a rapid solution of the humanitarian demining problem. There is an urgent demand for new methods that must be faster and cheaper than the existing methods. Since there is no regular technology that seems to be selfsufficient, the EC is encouraging projects aimed to the development of multi-sensor systems. As the metal content of modern mines is nearly zero, metal detectors have to be calibrated for extremely high sensitivity. As a result, the false alarm rate of metal detectors is very high and the demining procedures very slow. GPR is a candidate sensor that might be combined with a metal detector to reduce the false alarm rate and to ensure that plastic mines are detected. In the past few years, the DETEC (Demining Technology Center) group of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne performed a number of interesting experiments with a 1GHz GPR both in a laboratory and in some field test sites (Zagreb and Cambodia). We used the raw data kindly delivered by the DETEC team to explore the potential and the problems of the GPR technology and to design and test specific algorithms to improve the detection rate.


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