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Soil Electromagnetic Characteristics and Metal Detector Performance: Discussion Day 12 December 2002


The Third Meeting of the CEN Workshop (CEN 07 on Humanitarian Mine Action, Test and Evaluation of Metal Detectors), mandated by the CEN BT/WG 126 and ITEP, will be held at JRC on 9 to 11 December 2002. This meeting will review the latest draft CWA in order to have the CWA published by early 2003.

The draft CWA includes a part on measuring the effect of soils on the detection capability of metal detectors. This part states that to measure the effects of soils on the detection capability of metal detectors, the relevant properties of the soils used in the test areas for in-soil tests shall be well-known, well-controlled and recorded (CWA07, version 7). According to the current understanding of the influence of the soil on the metal detector performance, the most important soil properties, in this respect, are the electrical conductivity and the magnetic susceptibility, with the latter having the most dominant effect (Y. Das and G. Cross, "Soil Properties Database for Humanitarian Demining: A Proposed Initiative", 2002).
Hence, if future metal detector test protocols will incorporate measurements of the electromagnetic properties of soils, it is necessary to clarify and agree on a measurement procedure. The extra day added to the CWA07 Meeting should primarily serve to sum up the work already done in relation to this matter and to discuss a standardised measurement procedure.

Several projects, included in the Work Plan of the International Test and Evaluation Programme for Humanitarian Demining (ITEP), deal with the effect of environmental parameters on the performance of demining equipment. Although the electromagnetic characteristics of soils are only part of a wider problem, they are very important, considering the wide use of metal detectors in operational demining. That’s why the JRC has asked the ITEP Secretariat to facilitate, in close collaboration with the CWA07 Workshop, this discussion day. While an agreement on a standardised procedure for measuring soil electromagnetic characteristics is a prerequisite, it should be placed in the wider context of a soil properties database for humanitarian demining. The proposed discussion day should therefore also include the practical aspects of the compilation of a similar database and outline a realistic strategy for this future project.


The main objectives of the discussion day are:

1) Discuss and define a standardised procedure for measuring the soil electromagnetic properties and

2) Outline a realistic strategy for the compilation of a Soil Properties Database for Humanitarian Demining


Opening and Situating the Problem
9.00 - 9.15 Opening and introduction A.J. Sieber
9.15 - 9.30 The use of metal detectors in humanitarian demining D. Gülle
9.30 - 9.45 Metal detectors and soils Y. Das

9.45 -10.00 Introduction to the soil properties database concept
10.00 -10.15 Questions
Session 1: Soil electromagnetic properties and their measurement
10.15 -10.45 Mechanisms governing soil magnetism, measuring magnetic susceptibility (Bartington)

Measuring and mapping of soil magnetic susceptibility (Bartington)

J. Dearing
10.45 -11.15 Discussion and coffee
11.15 -11.45 Mechanisms governing soil conductivity

Measuring and mapping of soil conductivity

J. Katsube
11.45 -12.30 Discussion
12.30 -13.15 Sandwich lunch
13.15 -13.30 Presentation of the Siegenfeld instrument A. Siegenfeld, A. Lewis
13.30 -13.45 Results of some comparative measurements of soil electromagnetic charactersitics (Bartington, Siegenfeld) D. Gülle, A. Siegenfeld
13.45 -14.45 Discussion + Decisions
- instrument
- measurement procedure
- topics to be further investigated
Session 2: Strategies for obtaining country based metal detector performance information
14.45 -15.00 Pedotransfer rules: concept B. Jones
15.00- 15.15 Modelling magnetic susceptibility using pedotransfer functions J. Dearing
15.15 -15.45 Discussion:
- could pedotransfer rules be used to estimate regional soil electromagnetic properties
- which datasets are available, which ongoing of future projects could be linked
- topics to be investigated
15.45 - 16.00 Coffee
16.00 - 16.15 Linking soil electromagnetic properties and metal detector performance P. Druyts
16.15 - 17.00 Final discussion and conclusions

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