There is a really neat patent, number 6,343,534, which is titled "Landmine Detector with a High-Power Microwave Illuminator and Infrared Detector." Here is the abstract:
"A hybrid remote-sensing apparatus is based on an active high-power microwave (HPM) illuminator and a passive infrared (IR) detector for the detection of shallow buried landmines. A 2.45 GHz, 5 kW microwave source is used for illumination and the thermal signature at the soil surface is detected in the 8-12 µm region both in near real-time as well as after a brief time-delay following illumination. The thermal signature at the soil surface is primarily made up of two components. A thermal signature occurs at the soil surface in near real-time due to the interference of the incident beam and the beam reflected by buried mines. A second thermal signature is generated when temperature contrasts due to differential microwave absorption by a mine and the surrounding soil are conducted upwards from that mine location to the surface. Both signatures are dependent on the complex dielectric constants of mines and the soil. These signatures can be used to determine the location of different types of metallic and non-metallic mine surrogates, dummy mines without explosives and live mines with explosives."
Basically, it involves using a RF magnetron, like that from a common microwave oven, to "heat" the soil in a particular area. After a few minutes of RF heating, the area is then viewed using a infrared thermal camera to locate any "hot" spots. Presumably, a landmine buried in the soil will retain some heat due to the dielectric absorption by the explosives inside the mine. This would then be visible when viewed through the thermal camera, if it's not buried too far down.
This device doesn't appear to be too complicated to homebrew. A person controlling the robot would have a little T.V. screen showing the video output from the thermal viewer. If you locate any suspicious objects, you can then throw rocks at them from a safe distance.
The wireless video link and most of the power supplies are trivial to homebrew.
Robot chassis could be a radio controlled riding lawnmower.
Example photos from the above patent. Figure 5a, 5b, 5c, and 5d are IR pictures of the sand surface over mine surrogates buried in moist sand at different depths which were taken at different times before and after irradiation with high-power microwaves.
- Landmine Neutralizer Using a High-Power Microwave Device U.S. Patent 6,799,499. (590k PDF)
- Anti-Personal Landmine Detection Technology Survey and Assessment Good information. (585k PDF)
- A New Concept for Thermal Mine Detection by Local Heating Detailed report of this method. (214k PDF)
- IR-CAM TPM 4 from Imaging1.com Nice little handheld thermal viewing device. Lots of good pictures also.
- Thermal Camera Engine OEM packaged thermal camera.
- Panasonic Magnetron Tubes Information and datasheets.
- The Magnetron - A Low Noise, Long Life Amplifier (1.8M PDF)
- Eureka Aerospace High-Power Electromagnetic System (HPEMS) Uses microwave energy to disable/damage vehicle's electronic control module/microprocessors which control engine's vital functions.
- Oven Magnetron as a 13cm TX?
- Phase Locking a Microwave Oven for EME Use?
- Magnetron Coupling Methods
- High Power Microwave Pulse Generator (1.2M PDF)
- KC-135 Team Experiment Page
- EMP Research Paper (4.7M PDF)
- An Electronic Pearl Harbor? Not Likely by George Smith
- Non-Lethal Weapons for Military Operations Other Than War by Cadet First Class Joseph M. Suhajda
- EMP Kooks Very informative.
- EMP Gun: The Chupacabras of Infowar by George Smith
- EM Experiments for Computational Model Validation for AH-1S Cobra Helicopter
- Electro-magnetic Pulse (EMP) Systems
- A Photographic Essay on the Properties of Microwave Radiation
- Fun Things to Do with Microwave Ovens
- The Electromagnetic Bomb - A Weapon of Electrical Mass Destruction
- High Power Microwaves: Strategic and Operational Imperatives for Warfare (414k PDF)
- The FAA Discovers HERF
- Electromagnetic Effects of a Nuclear Explosion
- Radio Frequency Weapons and the Infrastructure by Lieutenant General Robert L. Schweitzer
- The Low Energy Radio Frequency Weapons Threat to Critical Infrastructure by Victor Sheymov
- Congressional Hearings on RF Weapons
- Dr. Carlo Kopp's Website Many good papers.
- The Design and Fabrication of a Damage Inflicting RF Weapon by 'Back Yard' Methods by David Schriner
- Microwave Canon Pictures
- Applied Physical Electronics EMP and pulse power technical publications
- KXAN News Segment on Applied Physical Electronics IED Zapper (6.1M AVI)
- Radio Frequency Weapons - 21st Century Threat Live Fire Testing of Radio Frequency Weapons
- Information Warfare E-book by Winn Schwartau. (2.0M PDF)
- Winn Schwartau's Cybershock - Picture 1 The S-20 being tested at China Lake, California.
- Winn Schwartau's Cybershock - Picture 2 Homemade cylindrical waveguide for RF weapon tests.
- Winn Schwartau's Cybershock - Picture 3 First public demonstration of HERF by David Shriner at InfowarCon, September 1999.
- Winn Schwartau's Cybershock - Picture 4 A garage-made dual-cone horn for increased radiated RF efficiency.
- Winn Schwartau's Cybershock - Picture 5 Russia plasma-tube produces intense ion streams.
- Everyday Materials Used in Radio Weapon
- Simple RF Weapon Can Fry PC Circuits
- One Zap, and Your Computer Is Dead
- Zap! ... and Your PC's Dead
- Almost Complete, Unofficial HERF and Other Radio Weapons Information Page
- The Wireless Threat to our Electronic Infrastructure
- The Dawn of the E-Bomb
- Testing and Evaluation of an Ultra-Wideband Pulse Generator for HPM Weapon Simulation IEEE login required.
- Lightning Bugs
- Fearsome Weapons of Future Wars Transcript from ABC's 20/20 on February 10, 1999.
- The Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)
- Bell System Nuclear Design Criteria (1969)
- Engineering and Design - Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and Tempest Protection for Facilities
- The Destruct-O-Tron
- Phase and Frequency Locking of Magnetrons by Pushing and Pulling By Imran Tahir (378k PDF)
- ATV Transmitter from a Microwave Oven By David Pacholok, KA9BYI. 73 Magazine, July 1989 (345k PDF)
- Power-Combining and Injection-Locking Magnetrons for Accelerator Applications By Todd A. Treado, Todd A. Hansen, and David J. Jenkins. (282k PDF)
- High-Power Microwave System Employing a Phase-Locked Array of Inexpensive Commercial Magnetrons U.S. Patent Application 2006/0208672A1 (175k PDF)
- Switching Power Supply for Microwave Oven U.S. Patent 5,171,949 (248k PDF)
- Magnetron Operating Circuit With Surge-Voltage Absorber U.S. Patent 3,840,774 (225k PDF)
- Power Supply Circuit for a Microwave Oven U.S. Patent 3,967,156 (202k PDF)
- Magnetron Drive Apparatus U.S. Patent 4,858,095 (373k PDF)
- History of the Microwave Oven (15M AVI)
CW/Pulse Magnetron Datasheets
- Internal View of a 2.45 GHz CW Magnetron
- National 2M107 2.45 GHz CW Magnetron (344k PDF)
- Matsushita 2M167B 2.45 GHz CW Magnetron (744k PDF)
- Hitachi 2M130 2.45 GHz CW Magnetron (296k PDF)
- National NL15245 15 kW, 2.45 GHz CW Magnetron (2.6M PDF)
- National NLM915-75 75 kW, 915 MHz CW Magnetron (215k PDF)
- JRC 2J55 X-band Pulse Magnetron (380k PDF)
- National JAN5586 S-band Pulse Magnetron (470k PDF)
- RCA 7008 X-band Pulse Magnetron (690k PDF)
- Litton 7156A C-band Pulse Magnetron (96k PDF)
- JRC 9M752 X-band Pulse Magnetron (377k PDF)
- Toshiba X-band Pulse Magnetron (475k PDF)
- Litton L-4555, L-4419, L-4451 - 32 GHz & 16 GHz Pulse Magnetrons (209k PDF)
- Litton L-4601 X-band Pulse Magnetron (304k PDF
- Litton L-4651 X-band Pulse Magnetron (112k PDF)
- Litton L-5047 X-band Pulse Magnetron (201k PDF)
- Litton L-5191 X-band Pulse Magnetron (177k PDF)
- Litton L-5274 X-band Pulse Magnetron (175k PDF)
- JRC M1310 X-band Pulse Magnetron (390k PDF)
- JRC M1337 X-band Pulse Magnetron (283k PDF)
- JRC M1461 S-band Pulse Magnetron (70k PDF)
- EEV MG5218 X-band Pulse Magnetron (418k PDF)
- EEV MG5353 X-band Pulse Magnetron (158k PDF)
- JRC MSF1425A X-band Pulse Magnetron (52k PDF)
- SFD Labs SFD-373 C-band Pulse Magnetron (300k PDF)
Rostislav Persion's Projects
Web page mirrors from the old www.voltsamps.com site.
- HERF 001
- The purpose of this lab is to find a way to power a microwave oven magnetron from a portable power supply.
- HERF 002
- This was my attempt at a high power X-band frequency HPM device, using a high gain horn antenna, and a military magnetron.
- HERF 003
- The reason I am constructing this lower power HERF that runs off the mains, is to experiment with microwaves and possibly dish reflectors.
- HERF 004
- This project is a continuation of the HERF 003 project
- HERF 005
- 1 kW, 18 dBi high-quality HERF with tuneable waveguide. This device was built as a demo for the 10th annual Information Warfare Conference in DC. Lots of images, videos and a sneak peak at the 12 kW X-band battery powered HERF. Videos of a PC being crashed.
- Explosively Powered EMP Device
- Technical description of the principle behind explosive powered EMP weapons.
- Transient Electromagnetic Device (TED) HERF
- Wideband transient electromagnetic device.
- HERF Radiation
- Tests performed on a HERF device in order to graph its radiation pattern. Great photos and radiation pattern images.
- Hand Held HERF
- Power supply fits inside of the magnetron.
- Pulse Forming Network
- Pulse forming network design and improvement.
- Radial Pulse Forming Network
- This project is aimed at the design of a new bread of type-e pulse forming networks.
- Inside the Magnetron's Ceramic Antenna Probe
- Crossed Signals
- Interview in U.S. News and World Report, December 2002.
- Horn Antenna Designer
- Helps design a rectangular horn antenna by showing how to cut pieces for it from sheet metal.
- Power Density Calculator
- Calculates RF power density at a given gain and distance.
- HERF Range
- Calculates and graphs HERF/HPM range at a given power and gain.
- Horn Antenna Calculator
- MSDOS application for calculating rectangular horn antenna dimensions.
- Focal Point Calculator
- Calculates a parabola's focal point.
GBPPR HERF / EMP Projects
Very detailed article on the construction of a HERF device using an old microwave oven and a satellite dish.