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United States of America
United States of America

Additional Information

3. Indoor Test Lanes, Fort Belvoir, Virginia

In 1959, the US Army, in support of its metal mine detector and ground penetrating radar (GPR) development programs, constructed indoor test lanes at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. The purpose of the these test lanes was to help gain a better understanding of the effect of different soils on the performance of metal mine detectors and GPRs.

Description of the Facility

The test facility is comprised of six 8 foot x 108 foot lanes containing five different soil types (loam, clay, sand, stream-run gravel, iron-rich soil). All lanes are five-feet deep. Pictures of the facility and the mine lanes are shown below. The picture on the right also shows a display of the variety of targets available for tests.

Indoor Test Lanes, Ft. Belvoir

Indoor Test Lanes, Ft. Belvoir

The facility has recently been upgraded to eliminate electrical interference caused by the prime movers for the overhead trolleys (to which the detectors are mounted). In addition, soil lanes were reinstalled to insure uniform content of intended soils and to eliminate any unintended clutter. Expansion of the facilities, to include outdoor, 60 foot extensions, of the indoor lanes, is now under way. During this expansion phase, state-of-the-art test recording instrumentation will be installed. This will allow the developer to design tests that separately challenge the sensor, algorithm, and system performance. This will ensure that algorithms are not built around dysfunctional sensors and also provides the means through which the developer can fully understand the detector's phenomenology.

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