Landmine Hunting Drone

an Open source mine hunting drone using a simple Capacitance Proximity Sensor to detect Landmines.

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A drone that would be able to carry a capacitance sensor and supporting circuitry to sweep suspected minefields of mine. First iteration would be for it to have emit a sound and light up a light when it detects something. Second phase could include data logging and sending data to a computer. Third phase would include computer control with altitude/distance from ground sensors to keep the drone at a set distance above the ground (Which would be about 1 to 2 inches to maximize the chance of it detecting the landmine.

Things I need to be up front about.
1. No I have not built any physical Components.
2. at this point I don't even have a drone and have not tested if a capacitance circuit could detect something like a landmine below the ground.
3. I have limited experience with this. I have some soldering experience, can read a circuit diagram (although I do have to look things up.) and that is about it.
Nothing like a Challenge.

To get into detail of the different Phases of this project I will start with phase 1 and add other phases as they come up.

Phase 1: So in this phase is to Prove that the Capacitance Proximity Sensor can indeed detect metal object below the ground and be light enough to put on a drone. The Drone manually controlled would be flown close to the ground with the sensor installed below the drone. The task then would be to fly it with proxies of land mines put in the ground. then rig the sensor to emit either a sound or turn on a LED or something which would then alert the drone operator which would then stop the drone. In this case, this would be a successfull test.

  • Step 1

    vice34503/18/2016 at 02:54 0 comments

    Alright first up. I found some free to use schematics for a circuit that

    can detect a variable capacitance change down to 1 pico-farad. Sent off

    an e-mail to the owner of the site just to make sure that those

    circuits can be used for free. This weekend I hope to recruit an

    acquaintance of mine that use to work as a quality control person for a

    cell phone manufacturer to help put together needed components. Also

    need to identify a drone that will carry the sensor (Basically a square

    piece of cooper with a wire soldiered to it) and circuitry needed to

    make it work.

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Typo Grandmister wrote 07/30/2017 at 22:00 point

i hope it will work,it can save lots of soldiers and Civilians life

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Vince Craft wrote 02/03/2017 at 18:06 point

Pretty cool idea. I don't know enough about the electronics to know if it works or not - I hope it does. It will make for some amazing footage when it is 'successful' ;)

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vice345 wrote 03/23/2016 at 21:48 point

Thanks for your Comments. K.C. Lee you do have a point. When I found that page with the different circuit designs I came upon it on accident as I had forgotten that word capacitance in the phrase "Capacitance touch/proximity Sensor". In any case I thought it would be something to look into.

Thanks Roman. I do not know either, however I thought because the land mines that I would be targeting, at least initially, would have steel bodies ( especially in many parts of Africa where they used surplus mines from other countries) and I would think because of the iron in it, it would be detectable especially since capacitance just senses the changes in the magnetic field (or at least that is my understanding of it.) Also one of the back-up plans includes stripping down a metal/mine detector and mounting it on the drone. 

A metal Detector is an active sensor because it actively powers an antenna that creates a magnetic field and it just detects objects that interfere with it, the Capacitance sensor is the same idea just passive using the magnetic field already there. Which technically you need to be closer to whatever it is your trying to detect. So theoretically it should be possible... theoretically. 

Thanks to both of you for your input

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Roman wrote 03/23/2016 at 13:55 point

I do not know if a landmine can be detected as a capacitance change, but Iike the idea using drones to do the job. I am sure you will find a way to detect them. You have my like :).

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K.C. Lee wrote 03/18/2016 at 04:12 point

Pretty much all those cap sense chips/circuits can detect changes in capacitance in that range.  This is just one results that google tuns up.
>Sensitivity to finger capacitance changes as low as 0.1 pF, supporting 15 mm glass and 5 mm plastic overlays

Better off using a chip that have good app notes and support than someone's "free" circuit.

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