Raytheon (Hall 5, Stand D658) has unveiled a new development in IED detection in the shape of GroundEye, a laser/seismo system that not only detects suspected emplaced threats, but can also confirm and diagnose them. This ability allows forces to move at greater speed than with current counter-IED methods, maintaining the momentum of advance.
GroundEye is being displayed on the Milrem THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (Hall 5, Stand J521) from Estonia, but the system can be adapted for use by dismounted troops, mounted on a tripod, as well radio-controlled vehicles (RCVs).
It can also be incorporated into larger route-proving vehicles, augmenting ground-penetrating radar (GPR) by providing rapid confirmation and diagnosis.
Currently GPR is the primary means of detecting suspected emplacements for route-proving applications, but it has no diagnosis capability. False alarm rates are high, requiring further investigation by dismounted troops with metal detectors that are ineffective against low-metal content devices. Finally, an EOD specialist would have to brush away overmatter to confirm the nature of the suspected emplacement.
By using an array of laser diodes, a camera and a vibration source to create a microseismic field, GroundEye accurately images the surface pattern using advanced image processing techniques. Objects underground affect the surface pattern and are revealed on the operator’s display, allowing a trained operator to identify what is beneath the ground in real time.
Difficult-to-detect items such as pressure plates made of wood or plastic are clearly revealed.
In its dismounted or RCV configuration, Ground Eye has an effective coverage of 2-3m2, looking around 1m ahead. Trials have shown that it can locate objects buried by up to 1.5m.
Tests have been conducted in a range of soil types and climatic conditions. The system is still in development, but a dismounted soldier version could be ready in about six months.