how metal detectors help soldiers

How do Metal Detectors Help Soldiers? (3 Different Ways)

How do Metal Detectors Help Soldiers

This article is only for educational purposes. Indeed, I am not a soldier and I’ve never been one, all I’ve done here is doing my research to learn how metal detectors can actually help soldiers in their mission and share this information with you!

Hopefully this will give you more perspectives on what metal detectors are really capable of!

3 Metal Detector Benefits for Soldiers …

1. Detecting hidden bombs

Metal detectors can help soldiers detect old hidden bombs that didn’t explode at the time when they were dropped.

It is important to remember that the world is full of many unexploded bombs left behind after the many wars or even ammunitions testing.

Governments attempt to find them and dig them up so that the land can be used safely again. However, it is often difficult to distinguish between made-made junk and unexploded junk.

There are certain types of metal detectors that come in handy in such situations. These specialized metal detectors use a coil to send an electromagnetic pulse at least 15 meters into the ground.

This pulse makes the thing it hits reverberate, and the team is able to identify if the reverberation signal is that of a torpedo-shaped metal object that has a hollow core. This is usually where explosives lie.

2. Land Mines

detecting land mines

Metal detectors are extremely helpful finding land mines, also known as demining!

They can help soldiers clear a field of landmines. The aim of many military operations involves clearing a path through a minefield as quickly as possible.

The land has to be made secure for human use again. This process of detecting mines is carried out by a specially designed metal detector used by soldiers to detect mines and bombs.

3. Scanning people

Hand-held metal detectors are used by solders for many purposes mainly to scan and search people (like detained or prisoners) in case they’ve got weapons, explosives or even sharp objects that could be dangerous like knives.

Hand-help detectors could be used to pinpoint targets on the ground and even inside the walls, exactly like hobby pinpointers.

What kinds of metal detectors do soldiers use?

The first metal detector used for military purposes was designed by Alexander Graham Bell, which was a practical metal detector that served as the prototype for all machines that followed.

Originally, these detectors were complex and massive in size. They used vacuum tubes to function.

Nowadays, mines detectors are very advanced and have the following features:

  • They’ve got a radar system that can penetrate the ground deep enough to find any hidden mines underneath the ground.
  • Usually come with an advanced technology called data fusion algorithms: These allow target detection, classification and even identification.
  • Ability to discriminate metallic clutter and reliably find the most dangerous threatening anti-personal and even anti-tank mines.
  • Minimal false alarm rates!
  • Ability to operate in all ground conditions, including heavily conductive soil where regular detectors struggle by picking false signals.


Would hobby metal detectors work for soldiers?

Let’s take this metal detector for example, technically if you swing it over a mine or a bomb it will surely give you a signal that something’s found, but this is supposedly the case if we already know for sure that there is mine underneath …

However, the big problem is when we don’t know what is inside. Such a hobby detectors will give you a signal but is it a metallic junk? Is it a coin? Is it an ammunition? Or is it a mine?

We don’t know, and such a machine won’t let you know in advance what it is you are about to come across. And obviously soldiers cannot take such a risk, their lives are at stake!

One more thing is related to the depth. Anti-personal mines are not buried very deep in general, hobby detectors would reach them. However, anti-tank mines (which are the most dangerous btw) are buried very deep out of reach of even the most sophisticated hobby machines …

Here where military detectors over shine hobby devices, they can scan very deep and they don’t have to be directly over the mine to be able to detect it.

Difference between military detectors and hobby detectors?

Military detectors (Example: AN/PSS-14) Hobby Detectors (Example: Bounty Hunter)
Top-notch discrimination Average Discrimination
Great ability to identify mines Not able to identify mines
Excellent Depth Average depth
Excellent Durability Average durability
Excellent sensitivity Average sensitivity
Great ability to identify the nature of targets Average ability to identify targets
Could be used in any ground condition Usually struggles in grounds rich in minerals

You can learn more by checking this article on the differences between metal detectors and mines detectors!

Final Thoughts …

Again, this article is only for educational purposes and is only the results of some researches I’ve done. Hopefully, you’ve learnt something new.

About the Author

Carissa Harmer

Carissa is the huge metal detecting enthusiast that loves collecting coins. She is also highly interested in other treasure hunting activities like magnet fishing and gold prospecting/panning.