Kathleen Smits, Ph.D., P.E.

Assistant Professor

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Smits Research Group - Research (Environmental Conditions that Affect Mine Detection Performance)

Understanding the Environmental Conditions that Affect Mine Detection Performance

In this work, we are studying soil moisture and thermal behavior in the vicinity of buried objects, such as mines, rocks and plastic boxes.

Left: experimental set up of 2-D tank with heterogeneous packing and surrogate landmine (black box). Tank is instrumented with soil moisture, pressure, relative humidity and temperature sensors. Right: simulation of surrogate landmine during heating. The surface plot shows the vapor transport while the contour plot shows the temperature distribution at a certain time (Smits et al., 2013, IEEE).

Small tempe cell experiments conducted to determine the thermal and hydraulic properties of soils under varying soil moisture and temperature conditions. Data used to develop thermal and hydraulic relationships used in upscaling. (Smits et al., 2010 Vadose Zone Journal and Smits et al., 2012 Vadose Zone Journal, 2012, Smits et al., 2013, IEEE).