An important feature of this test area is the presence of a variety of mine types (fusing mechanism rendered inoperable), some buried as long ago as 1994 and now covered with a mature growth of prairies vegetation.
This test site has four main facilities:
Mine pen enclosure: This site was initially designed for experimenting with vehicle mounted systems, such as the Improved Landmine Detection Systems developed for the Canadian Forces. However, it has been used for airborne imaging trials and is suitable for testing almost any kind of landmine detector. The site consists of a secure area (340m x 260m) where explosive-filled targets and other mine simulating devices can be buried. The Mine Pen has 1300m of gravel and asphalt roadway, including a 1km loop, with the capability to rapidly introduce more specific configurations and soil conditions as required.
Non-metalic laboratory: The "Foam Dome" is a self-supporting hemispheric structure (12m diameter) made of sprayed gypsum and rubberized plastic. Within this low metal environment, there is a non-metal test rig which controls the speed and height at which a detector passes over the target. In 199, this test facility was used for the International Pilot Project for Technical Cooperation (IPPTC) which evaluated 29 metal detectors.
Soil pits and irrigated area: This site contains six concrete boxes (4 x 8 x 2 metres) with walls constructed into the ground without any metal reinforcing. These boxes are filled with different types of soil (sandy clay, sand, gravel, organic top soil and soils with magnetite/sand mixtures of varying proportions). One of the pits contains laterite soil imported from Cambodia and two of the pits are covered to provide a controlled environment.
Vertical stand-off facilitiy: A 10 metre high tower is used for evaluating prototype versions of airborne sensors.
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