Reliably detecting and discriminating mines, booby traps, and victim operated improvised explosive devices remains a stubborn problem for both humanitarian demining organizations and the military. Since mines were widely used during the Second World War, much effort has been expended on the detection problem, with limited success. The aim of being able to positively identify a device first time remains elusive since the scientific challenge of positively identifying different substances in the ground is formidable. This article critically examines the detection problem and suggests that in the continued absence of a ‘silver bullet’ technological solution, the best means currently available to manage the risk of concealed explosive devices is the systematic collection and analysis of relevant operational data from the field.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.