Imaging detectors collect data and present it in a detailed report to the user. These detectors create 3D images supported with graphics, and help the user to meet the target with accuracy and precision. This, naturally saves considerable time by providing the user information to reach decisions on whether deep digs are necessary or not.

The imaging metal detectors (those with displays) differ from those without displays, as they provide an approximated drawing of shape, depth, and size information on the basis of frequency data received, instead of providing merely sound signals. Those who promise more should be treated with suspicion! It is clear that an approximated drawing would be an invaluable tool for both beginners, and experienced users.

Moreover, Treasure Scanners using advanced technology are capable of determining the points where the signal begins and ends, on the basis of the type and power of the signal from the metal object, determining the reflection timing and attenuation of the signal through the application of advanced algorithms to come up with a color 3D representation on the screen. Such images help the user ascertain the depth, dimensions, and type of the object in detail.

Imaging scanners process all measurements and data received during a scan, and come up with the parameters. High-efficiency processors and advanced software making use of the data available, help a focus on the target, an accurate analysis of the environmental conditions, and an image-assisted search.

One should be aware that non-imaging detectors would provide the user only limited information regarding the scans and scan results. Experienced users have no trouble in operating devices without displays. However, the consistency and stability of the product plays a significant role in this context. These devices would meet many users' expectations, and even surpass them. Limited settings provided by detectors which lack displays, as well as the lack of reporting and visual aid capabilities will in the final analysis provide the user with much more limited information. However, an experienced user may make do without such additional information.

On the other hand, simpler systems, claiming to be imaging detectors yet built on the principle of magnetometer or GPR, will usually provide only superficial results. These systems have improper and inaccurate parameters and they are incapable of reporting and real-time 3D imaging. Even if they are capable of providing such data, their meaningless results cannot be interpreted by users.

There are even systems which present data from a database, without any reference to the real-time measurements taken, purely for deceptive purposes, beyond any interpretation by the producer or dealers. Some firms even go as far as trying to make an impression of "quality" in their products, by combining the detector with some popular and widely relied technological instruments such as computers, tablets or mobile phones.

On the other hand, there are firms which try to make an impression of "quality" through exaggerated and inflated prices. These may talk about prices in the range of 5,000 to 60,000 Euros, claiming the offering of highest quality. This would, in time, feed a perception of "quality", albeit deceptive. Often a simple detector/system equipped with an average, even crude principle of operation is marketed at a very high price, reinforced with a few accessories to create an impression of advanced technology. There are some firms that abuse their customers using this method. Such firms often claim that they combine accessories, which are more often than not unrelated with metal detecting purposes and are produced for other uses, with the detector they offer, thereby claiming increased capabilities. The best option in the face of such marketing traps lies in increasing one's knowledge. The consumers must take the time to focus on the issue, and learn the matter in depth.

These use slogans such as “We promise a clear picture of the soil”, and tend to market some accessories such as 3D Glasses along with the devices. These are purely marketing stunts, and are aimed towards deceiving the customers. Such deceptive claims will not suffice to hide the defects and weaknesses of the detector marketed.

The basic purpose is to acquire the right device at a fair price, and achieve satisfaction through a longer period of use without any problems.

Sensitive and multi-dimensional research on imaging of gold deposits in particular were carried out by the scientists combining more than one technologies as part of the project "Hope" initiated by European Space Studies Center in 1999. The primary purpose of the research was to develop a mine scanning device equipped with extra sensors to provide imaging functions during identification and determination process, albeit in a form similar to a metal detector. The project was concluded in year 2002 as it was judged that the research did not yield adequate results.

The project prototypes were able to identify a 30-40 cm wide anti-tank mine only in the range of 2-8 cm depth, whereas no image was acquired after the depth of 8-10 cm.

The objects the researchers themselves buried could be spotted and visualized only under specific conditions, and then again "with doubt" after a depth of 2-4 cm. This shows that obtaining images from soil, however crude they may be, is beyond the capabilities of today's technology. Unfortunately, the technology available don't allow us to achieve imaging of land mines, which is a crucial threat to human life in times of peace and war, precluding an easy way for their clearance.

However, graphs produced on the basis of sent or reflected signals allow us to generate real-time 3D graphs and reports to allow comparison against the reference values of metals, and to provide guidance to the user. This represents the most advanced Detection Technology of the day.

Imaging making use of the satellite technology as well as GPRS, providing soil images and coming up with results over the data are also among the detector marketing methods observed so far. A comprehensible image received from a very advanced satellite would have a resolution of at most, 2-3 meters at the soil level. It is almost impossible to discriminate smaller objects. In a nutshell, it is not possible to obtain information or data regarding what lies under the soil using satellite imaging technology.

In particular, the ability to detect variations in soil composition and signal refraction, to operate in a consistent and stable manner over rough terrain, to analyze data using a combination of a powerful processor and software, and to present the data to the user in a very short time frame are among the features reserved for Imaging Detectors. Therefore, real-time Imaging Detectors are clearly superior to simple metal detectors. Yet, one should never forget that the images and results provided are merely interpretation of the data, which may vary by the difficulties posed by the terrain, weather conditions, user errors, the period metal had been buried for, and the factors it was exposed to.

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