Better sensors, cameras help US thwart IEDs in Afghanistan

Images from new radar and sensors designed to detect wires that trigger explosives deployed on both manned and unmanned aircraft are substantially reducing the threat that improvised explosive devices pose to U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, according to U.S. officials, reports USA Today.

From March through May, troops in vehicles found 64 percent of improvised explosive devices before they blew up, and troops on foot patrol discovered 81 percent before they exploded, according to to the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). Both figures represented a noticeable increase in detection from the previous quarter, the story said.

Among the new systems deployed in the past few years designed to detect wires attached to bombs or ground that has been disturbed to hide IEDs are Desert Owl and Copperhead, the story said. Desert Owl is a ground-penetrating radar deployed on manned aircraft, while Copperhead is a radar system designed for command wire detection supplemented by advanced image-processing algorithms that is deployed on drones.

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