MIT devices detects land mines from safe distance

It's like a water pik, but stronger

Researchers at the Lincoln Lab at MIT have come up with something that can be described as a sound flashlight. It emits powerful, but tightly focused acoustic beams that can penetrate underground.

Haupt and his team MIT

When the beams hit a mine, the vibrations from the collision push up dirt around the area. That movement of dirt is then registered by a radar device.

"It turns out that mines will vibrate quite differently from anything else," said MIT's Robert Haupt in a prepared statement. "You can determine what types of mines there are--and which countries made them--by their unique signatures."

An estimated 26,000 people are killed or maimed every year by 60 to 70 million undetected land mines in 70 countries. Most are civilians.

About the author

    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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