Magnetic Tensor Spectroscopy for Humanitarian Anti-Personnel Landmine Detection

  • Omar Abdelrehim Abdelkerim

Student thesis: Phd


The following abstract is for a thesis submitted to the University of Manchester for the degree of Doctor in Philosophy by Omar AbdelRehim AbdelKerim in 2015.Anti-personnel (AP) mines remain a global problem that affects communities around the world, with 110 million active landmines still present. Landmines are a particularly callous and indiscriminate type of weapon detonating irrespective of presence of an enemy soldier or a child. Their devastating effect on communities has led to their ban through the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Current detectors used for mine clearance operations have an impeding weakness that has prompted this research; metal detectors used in humanitarian demining suffer from a high False Alarm Rate (FAR) prompting regular excavation of metallic clutter. The research presented aims to develop a detector capable of discriminating between metallic clutter and mines through the use of the magnetic polarizability dyadic tensor to reduce FARs, increase demining efficiency and improve deminer's safety.A measurement apparatus was designed and constructed to perform spectroscopic magnetic measurements of small symmetrical metallic objects and produce for the first time unscaled accurate tensor values. The tensors deduced from the measurements were validated against analytical and simulated results and were found to be within 5% of measured tensors. The tensors of minimum metal AP mine surrogates and metallic clutter of symmetrical shape were measured and formed part of a tensor library to be used later by future research. This is in addition to a set of un-circulated US coinage which could be used as a calibration metric and a comparison piece for future work in this area. A detailed description of the coil design and manufacturing process is presented to develop a coil array capable of inverting buried metallic object tensors. The selection criterion was poised to identify an array that was best suited to perform the correct measurements in order to invert to an accurate tensor. The manufactured coil exhibited strong mutual coupling between the receive coils deeming it unfit for the portable detector; however, the findings of the work presented and the selection criterion developed has aided the future design of a suitable coil array. Expected signal levels from minimum metal mine detection were calculated and helped aide in the design of future detectors to ensure suitable SNR performance is achieved.A portable detector has been developed using the sensor head presented within this thesis. Work still lies ahead to achieve the complete detector capable of performing target characterisation and clutter elimination; however, significant advances have been made and are presented throughout this thesis.
Date of Award1 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAnthony Peyton (Supervisor)


  • electromagnetic induction
  • magnetic polarizability tensor
  • metal detection
  • landmine

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