GPU-based infrared thermography for NDE of minefields

Infrared thermography is an attractive technique for non-destructive evaluation processes and particularly for detecting shallowly buried mines. Its use consists of subjecting the area under inspection to a source of natural or artificial heating/cooling process and studying the soil’s response by means of the analysis of its thermal evolution given by a temporal sequence of infrared images. To this aim an efficient solution of the heat equation is required. Over the years, different software solutions have been proposed, taking advantage of today’s impressive computing power of parallel machines. In this work, we consider a hybrid software–hardware approach making use of a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) acting as a heat equation solver with the goal of obtaining a portable system to be used during field experiments. The system has been successfully used for the non-destructive inspection of soils in mine detection applications based on infrared thermography techniques.