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.
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.