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Mine Kafon Drone: An Unmanned Airborne Demining System

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MKD (Mine Kafon Drone: An Unmanned Airborne Demining System)

Période du rapport: 2020-01-01 au 2020-06-30

Mine Kafon was established with a humanitarian goal in mind, and addresses a problem of great importance which is often neglected: the use of landmines. Around the world, anti-personnel landmines continue to have tragic, unintended consequences years after a battle and even years after the entire war has ended. As time passes, even those who planted them often forget the location of landmines. These mines continue to be functional for many decades, causing further damage, injury and death. More than 100 million active landmines plague 70 countries worldwide, with more being deployed even in 2020. The cost of planting a mine varies between € 2,7 and € 27, while the cost of removing a mine varies between € 270 and € 900. Using current technologies, clearing or even detecting all land mines around the world would take over 1100 years, with costs rising as high as € 90 billion. Established processes like manual demining are not efficient enough - they are slow, dangerous and expensive.

Therefore, Mine Kafon's unmanned demining system (MKD) was born out of a frustration with current methods, their slow speed, high costs and relative inefficiency. The final objective is to provide a reliable and safe detection system that delivers accurate updates and information on mine clearing operations, describing contaminated and cleared areas through an intuitive online platform. This would not only provide a better cost-value proposition for ongoing demining projects, but also kickstarting a variety of other projects discontinued due to high costs, lack of efficiency and posing risk to human and/or animal lives. By achieving this, millions of people around the world would stop living in fear, and the lands currently occupied by landmines could be converted for construction or agriculture purposes, allowing local communities to thrive.
By collaborating with potential clients, Mine Kafon managed to gain a number of insights into the needs of both customers, as well as end users, and has started to integrate these into the system, from a technical standpoint. This has mostly been centred around the software side rather than the hardware side, improving the user-friendliness of the platform, constructing an intuitive online interface from which real-time data can be analysed and interpreted.

Mine Kafon has also undertaken extensive research into IPR issues, planning a future patenting strategy, and also meeting with relevant parties such as ambassadors and export representatives in order to plan an export strategy, and prepare the relevant documentation for such objectives. Mine Kafon has also overhauled their marketing efforts by re-launching their website and raising awareness in a more strategic, targeted and stakeholder-oriented manner. Finally, Mine Kafon has been in close talks with local organisations from the Limburg area in order to facilitate its access to both knowledge and further financial resources that can pave its way to success.
The MKD project can revolutionise the state of art for two main reasons.

1. It offers a solution and potential results that current methods do not. Often, current methods are not employed because of safety concerns, or because they are too slow and function at a very high cost. By using the MKD, demining organisations would almost completely eliminate variable costs associated with large-scope projects, making it much more accessible, especially considering that a large number of the world's landmines are found in developing countries that cannot allocate immense budgets for such actions. By offering quick and quantifiable results, MKD aims to make a large direct impact.

2. It indirectly pushes the use of innovative solutions based on emerging technologies, and levering this potential. Demining methods that characterise the state of art have not really changed much since the Second World War, and Mine Kafon is proud of its pioneering status in what has spurred innovations in this field.
MK Destiny side view
MK Manta close-up
MK Manta flying with sensor attached
MK Destiny mapping an area