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Ground penetrating radar may help army
Josy Joseph in New Delhi | March 09, 2003 05:47 IST
The Ayodhya dispute and the United Nations' attempt to avert a new war in West Asia have both found an ally in ground penetrating radar.
Now the GPR could prove a saviour for the Indian Army as well, which is struggling to retrieve about a million landmines scattered along the Pakistan border.
With GPRs, the army's de-mining teams will easily be able to detect the mines, saving time and lives, a senior officer said.
The army is also acquiring protective gear and blast-resistant boots on an emergency basis. It has lost over 80 soldiers to mine blasts since Operation Parakram started in December 2001.
A GPR antenna sends out high frequency radio waves that penetrate the ground and get reflected from underground structures. The reflected signatures provide a profile of the underground structure.
On March 5, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court ordered excavation of the disputed site in Ayodhya after an Indo-Canadian firm found some structures underneath.
Tojo Vikas International used the Zond 12C radar with a 100MHz antenna and sophisticated receivers to conduct the survey.
The survey at Ayodhya has revealed structures at heights between 0.5 and 5.5 metres below the ground, according to a report submitted to the high court.
In Iraq, the GPR is among the key technological tools used by UN weapons inspectors to find evidence of chemical or biological weapons facilities.
Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix said ground penetrating radar equipment was used in several specific locations, but "no underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found."