Quantum sensing of subterranean structures by magnetic induction tomography

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Subterranean tunnels present as air-filled voids with effectively zero conductivity, embedded in the surrounding soil or rock of significant conductivity. Magnetic induction tomography can in principle detect this localised change in conductivity and reveal the presence of a tunnel, its orientation, depth and approximate size. Detection of materiél within a tunnel by MIT is likely to be much more challenging, although large ferromagnetic objects such as vehicles could potentially be resolved. Narrow but elongated structures with high conductivity, such as pipelines running along the tunnel, are also potentially detectable. For shallow tunnels, metal support structures are potentially detectable by MIT, acting as a scaled-up metal detector. The resolution and sensitivity required by the Challenge Statement is finer than geophysical exploration, while still demanding the motion of detectors (and perhaps sources) over the landscape. In our response we will explore the benefits that highly sensitive quantum magnetometers will bring to the problem, and whether such sensors will enable an MIT-based solution to the Challenge.
Effective start/end date5/01/2130/04/21