Ideas / project to use with palm sized drone. (Formerly metal and mine detection)

Thread Starter

Bod

Joined Sep 18, 2016
301
I have volunteered to try and make a circuit to detect meatal and or mines. I will go through the details below. Many details may be missing becuase I was not told them since this is just a prototype.
The circuit will be attached to the bottom of a drone about the size of your palm. This means it has to be light and small. The main aim of this ciruit is to detect metal or mines and display them on a map so you can see where it detected it. Currently this is a prototype so it doesnt have to be small or light, but in the end I need it to be able to be shrunk and made lighter for the drone. The drone is probably about 1 - 2 feet off the floor so it will need to be able to detect metal / mines from that height.

Can you please recommend any technology that might work for this. I'm thinking of the maybe something like in the voltage pens (the ones you put next to a wire to see if it is live without having to get to the copper to test)

Thanks,
Bod
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
Reminds me of DIY parachutes -- who gets to do the testing?

Assuming this project is not for real mines and military, detection distance and depth for metal detectors using a loop is generally proportional to the size of the loop. There is a handy little chip, TDA0161, for making metal detectors. Don't know if it is still available. There may be other substitutes or even microcontrollers today that do a better job.

TDA0161.png
 

AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
11,524
As a rule of thumb the depth of detection is equal to the coil diameter. This will be modified by the target size (it is easier to detect a large metal treasure chest than a small coin) and by the characteristics of whatever it is buried in. So it looks like the coil will need to a lot bigger than the drone.
 

Thread Starter

Bod

Joined Sep 18, 2016
301
Is this a school/college project?
No, I volunteered to help my uncle create his project.
Reminds me of DIY parachutes -- who gets to do the testing?

Assuming this project is not for real mines and military, detection distance and depth for metal detectors using a loop is generally proportional to the size of the loop. There is a handy little chip, TDA0161, for making metal detectors. Don't know if it is still available. There may be other substitutes or even microcontrollers today that do a better job.

View attachment 155363
I will have to ask about them being real mines. I think this will maybe actually be used for real mines. Not sure.

As a rule of thumb the depth of detection is equal to the coil diameter. This will be modified by the target size (it is easier to detect a large metal treasure chest than a small coin) and by the characteristics of whatever it is buried in. So it looks like the coil will need to a lot bigger than the drone.
That is what I though might happen. Is there any other way to detect metal or mines, which ever one is easier.

Thanks for all the replies,
Bod
 
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jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
Wow, real land mines on a hobbyist site? Thank goodness we aren't discussing running LED's from non-isolated mains.

I originally thought this was an amateurs' exercise like Fox and Hounds. Since the TS isn't sure and lives are potentially at stake, I suggest a little Internet research. Why guess? Land mines and attempts to detect/disable them have bee around for a very long time. This fist hit: https://str.llnl.gov/str/Azevedo.html gives useful information. MIR is apparently the method of choice for anit-personnel versions.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,119
What I design my mine totally of plastic?

Just a side thought here but during the past week I have had three visits from people looking for my utilities and sewer lines. Upgrading our natural gas service to support a larger standby generator. Natural gas line is about 6 foot below the concrete driveway, water supply is down about 8 feet and the sanitary sewer also about 6 feet. The guys who showed up for this preliminary stuff all used what appeared to be a ground radar of sorts and none had a problem finding what they were looking for. The gas line is unique as it is an older fiberglass pipe line.

I saw no coils like a metal detector would have, matter of fact the heads of their hand held units were rectangular and maybe 3" wide by 6" long. Since I have played this game before I know where all my buried utilities are and how deep. I did some concrete cute in the curb years ago to mark them. The guys who showed up all were within an inch of my marks and now I have little flags on my property. Yellow for natural gas, Blue for water main and Green for the sanitary sewer. Whatever they used was accurate and could detect utilities as deep as 10 feet.

Ron
 

AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
11,524
What I design my mine totally of plastic?

Just a side thought here but during the past week I have had three visits from people looking for my utilities and sewer lines. Upgrading our natural gas service to support a larger standby generator. Natural gas line is about 6 foot below the concrete driveway, water supply is down about 8 feet and the sanitary sewer also about 6 feet. The guys who showed up for this preliminary stuff all used what appeared to be a ground radar of sorts and none had a problem finding what they were looking for. The gas line is unique as it is an older fiberglass pipe line.

I saw no coils like a metal detector would have, matter of fact the heads of their hand held units were rectangular and maybe 3" wide by 6" long. Since I have played this game before I know where all my buried utilities are and how deep. I did some concrete cute in the curb years ago to mark them. The guys who showed up all were within an inch of my marks and now I have little flags on my property. Yellow for natural gas, Blue for water main and Green for the sanitary sewer. Whatever they used was accurate and could detect utilities as deep as 10 feet.

Ron
But could you fit their equipment onto a palm sized drone and still have it get off the ground?
 

Alec_t

Joined Sep 17, 2013
12,248
If I were using a drone to find a mine I'd just dangle a weight below the drone on 20 metres or so of fishing line and bounce the drone up and down over the suspected location :).
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,119
But could you fit their equipment onto a palm sized drone and still have it get off the ground?
I thought about that and have no clue what the hand held units I saw weighed in at. On another note I was pretty amazed at the payload some of the higher end drones can lift and carry for a good 30 minuets. They are using commercial versions to haul some pretty hefty loads for doing bridge inspections. That said I really don't know how practical it would be. I know I would be more comfortable navigating a mine field behind the tracks of a heavy tank. :)

I also figure if this were really practical someone would have been doing it already. :)

Ron
 

Thread Starter

Bod

Joined Sep 18, 2016
301
I am going to start off by saying a bigger drone, as far as I know, is not possible to get.

I don't feel like replying to everyone induvidually so I will say this:
Everything that I said about detecting metal or mines was just an idea suggested by my uncle which I agreed to try and see if it was possible. From what I have read on this post it's either possible but it's going to be big and heavy or it's not even feasable. I was told that if I could think of another idea to use with the drone my uncle could use that.

So feel free to suggest any ideas / projects that we could use with the drone. (I'll change the title)

Thanks,
Bod
 
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AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
11,524
A camera is the standard attachment. For variety, you could use either an infra-red or ultra-violet camera and see what you can see.
Or, with a 'normal' camera take pictures throughout a year and put them together to make time lapse video. Watch how the seasons affect plant growth, or the size of a lake or reservoir.
 

Thread Starter

Bod

Joined Sep 18, 2016
301
Thanks for the new ideas!

Checkout the work being done by Sarah Parcak
I appreciate it is a satellite based system, but the resolution is excellent and it used for detecting changes in the vegetation covering buried objects.

E
I know this might sound silly but could you attach a mini satellite to the bottom of a drone to capture images like this?

Thanks,
Bod
 

ericgibbs

Joined Jan 29, 2010
13,825
hi Bod,
I am not suggesting attaching a mini-sat to your drone...:rolleyes:
I am trying to suggest that if a sat-cam can show vegetation differences from say 120miles high, a drone with a decent resolution camera, using light filters should be able detect changes in the terrain, when flying at few tens of feet above the ground.
E
 
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