Index Banner




Meerdaal Land Mine Detection Test Facility

Name: Meerdaal Land Mine Detection Test Facility
Short description: Outdoor test facility with multiple soil types. Availability of a scanning device mounted on a robot.



Mechanical Equipment

Detector / Sensor

Protection Equipment



Several types of detector technologies(except for explosives detectors)

Point of contact:

Name: Marc Acheroy
Function: Head of the Electrical Engineering Department and Signal and Image Centre
Phone / Fax: +32 2 737 64 72 / +32 2 737 64 70

General information:

Indoor / outdoor: Outdoor, located in the premises of the Belgian Bomb Disposal Unit in Meerdaal
Test area (m2): 521
Explosive allowed: No
Working office:

Size (m2)

Heating / Cooling

Phone / Fax

Internet access

(for visiting users)





Particular constraints

Working hours: 07.45 am - 04.30 pm (Mon - Fri)
Entrance requirements: Security clearance required. Contact +32/16/395404 (Commander Van Hoecke) or [email protected] at least 2 months in advance.
Remarks: Provide complete list of names with copies of passport and list of vehicles with registration and license plate.


Mechanical workshop:


Priority to the operations of the local bomb disposal unit
Services supplied:


Electricity Fuel Water Compressed air
Yes No Yes Yes
Canteen: Yes
Hot meals are served for lunch, reservation before 9.00 am
Distance (km):


Hotel: 15

Railway station: 15

Airport: 25


The test site is located in the premises of the Belgian Bomb Disposal Unit in Meerdaal, near Leuven. The site has been built according to the recommendation of mine specialists (the Belgian Bomb Disposal Unit) and sensor specialists (the Royal Military Academy / Signal and Image Centre) in order to organize trials for handheld demonstration and prototype land mine detection devices. Beyond the maintenance of the installation by the Belgian Bomb Disposal Unit, the infrastructure is supported by two laboratories in Belgium: the RMA / SIC ( and the VUB (, involved in several projects in humanitarian demining. Both laboratories can provide support to users in the evaluation of metal detectors and ground penetrating radar, as well as in data fusion.
The site includes three test areas filled with different soil types, mines and mine-like objects.

Test areas

The test site includes three areas, each representing a different soil type (Lommel sand, local Meerdaal soil and gravel). Each area (sand: 13m x 12m, local Meerdaal soil: 14m x 14m and gravel: 13m x 13m) is subdivided into two metal free sub-areas: a structured sub-area and a tactical sub-area (for blind testing). Each sub-area is composed of cells (1m x 0.5m). In the structured sub-area, all cells contain a known object (mine, UXO or non mine/UXO object) in a known configuration (depth, orientation) which is completely documented in the test facility manual (documentation available at the ITEP Secretariat). In the tactical area, dedicated to blind testing, some cells do not contain objects and others contain one or several. Details on the cells in the tactical area are stored by the Belgian Bomb Disposal Unit and are kept secret.
A specific working area includes one object cell (1m x 0.5 m), an access area (1m x 1m) to access and work on the object cell and a security area (1m x 0.5m) to avoid interactions between objects.
Between the test campaigns, the test areas are covered with a geotextile cover to avoid vegetation and destruction by animals while allowing water penetration.

Test area layout
Figure 1: lay-out of a test area, divided in a structured and tactical sub-area and containing access areas, security areas and object cells.

Construction of the test area

Photo 1: construction of the test area

Construction of the test area

Photo 2: construction of the test area

Construction of the test area

Photo 3: construction of the test area

Finalised test area

Photo 4: finalised test area

Sensor platform

A scanning device mounted on a robot can be provided to support trials. A high resolution positioning device (better than 5 mm in X, Y and Z / better than 2' in angle) based on a high resolution camera can be made available if necessary to record manual scanning or to record images from a manual scan.

Test objects

A set of test objects, representing anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines and false targets (bullet case, cans, fragments, etc.) have been placed at various depths (0-15 cm) in the test areas. For each object the position, burying depth and the orientation are recorded and photographs are available.

The orientation of each object is defined by three angles. Table 1 provides information for targets inserted in the structural sub-areas only. Details on the targets in the tactical area are stored by the Belgian Bomb Disposal Unit and are kept secreat. However, it is known that next to mines, munition and fragments, objects made out of other materials such as wood, plastic, glass, etc. have also been inserted in these tactical areas.

AP mine PRB M35 (Belgium)

Photo 5: AP mine PRB M35 (Belgium)

AT mine VS1.6 (Italy)

Photo 6: AT mine VS1.6 (Italy)

Hand grenade

Photo 7: Hand grenade

Supporting equipment

By the end of 2003, the test facility will be equipped with an infrastructure to record environmental parameters (sky radiance, soil moisture, temperature, etc.)

Possibilities for research

Since its construction the test facility has supported several national and international projects such as HUDEM and the European Union HOPE and CLEARFAST projects, for the EC/ESPRIT and EC/IST programs respectively. The access to the infrastructure may be guaranteed to any end-user who wishes to test systems against pseudo-real conditions. The user will not be allowed to change the set-up of the infrastructure without the agreement of the responsible, but will be free to organize the type of test he/she wants to perform.

Type Mine Target Amount Comment
Non Mine Barbed wire 11
Bullet 15
Bullet case 15
Can 11
Fragment 25
Hand grebade 15
Mortar fuse 15
Nail 15
AT Mine M6 9 Reproduction mine
VS1.6 - Iatly 8 Reproduction mine
AP Mine OZM-3 Soviet 5 Reproduction mine
PMA-1 Yugo 13 Reproduction mine
PMA-3 Yugo 14 Reproduction mine
PMN2-Soviet 14 Reproduction mine
PMN-Soviet 14 Reproduction mine
PRB M35 Belgium 10 Reproduction mine
Type 72 13 Reproduction mine
Total amount of mines in structured area 100
Total amount of targets in structured area 222

Table 1: list of test objects available in the structured sub-areas for the different soil types

disclaimer | itepnet | links | contact | home