Countermine/Mine Systems

Article excerpt

The AN/PSS-12 Mine Detector is an electronic, handheld detector used to find metallic land mines and other mines with minute amounts of metal (as small as 0.2 grams). The system, which has been in the field since 1992, is capable of finding most low-metallic mines (sometimes called nonmetallic mines) because most of them have some metal in their fuse or detonation device.

A soldier operating the detector wears a helmet with a headset. As the mine detector moves over the ground, the operator hears a clicking sound in the headset, indicating that the detector is operating properly.

When a mine is detected, the operator hears a loud squeal on the headset and then marks the spot where the mine has been detected with a "minebow" net in a large X.

Effectiveness of the detector varies with soil conditions, depth of the mine's burial and type of metal used in the construction of the mine and its components. Metallic clutter in the ground will slow down a detection mission because all metallic objects must be investigated.

The Handheld Standoff Mine Detection System (HSTAMIDS) can detect all metallic and nonmetallic antitank and antipersonnel mines.

This system combines the maturing technology of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and improved metal detection to provide a high probability of detection for both large and small metallic and nonmetallic antitank and antipersonnel mines. HSTAMlDS will significantly improve detection of the smaller, low-metal antipersonnel mines with a probability of detection of all mine types in excess of 95 percent.

The system will reduce the number of false detections associated with operating in combat zones by allowing the operator to tune out the metallic clutter that affects the Army's legacy mine detector, the AN/PSS-12. The forward-looking infrared detection subsystem component of HSTAMIDS has been deferred to a future product improvement effort.

The overall design weight of the HSTAMIDS will be comparable to that of the AN/PSS-12 for the detector head and control equipment. The system has an improved soldier-machine interface, and it will be fielded with a robust training package to ensure the development of better trained and more confident HSTAMIDS operators.

In February 2001, the Army awarded a three-year engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract to CyTerra Corp. Under the contract, CyTerra will finalize the HSTAMIDS design and then deliver 22 units for Army testing.

Early systems were fielded in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

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The Antipersonnel Obstacle Breaching System (APOBS) is a Marine Corps developmental program for a two-man, portable explosive line charge. Two backpacks with rocket and fuze can breach a 45-meter lane through antipersonnel mines and wire obstacles. The system weighs 55 to 65 pounds per person and is deployable within 120 seconds of arriving at the breach site. The APOBS provides time-delay or command initiation of the rocket, and the fuze detonates after the rocket and line charge land on the obstacle. The system defeats obstacles through physical impact (fragmentation, not blast overpressure).

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