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Content archived on 2024-05-24

Airborne Minefield Area Reduction


The area affected with antipersonnel land mines in 56 infested countries is estimated to be 1 Mio km². This represents a serious threat to the human lives and a major obstacle for the development of the polluted region. The objective of ARC is to develop, demonstrate and promote a new system for performing the UN Level 2 surveys allowing a quick reduction of suspected mine-polluted areas and post-cleaning quality control. The ARC-system is based on a helicopter UAV, optical, infrared and hyperspectral sensors and a Mine Information System supported by a Geographical Information System. It is our intention to have the ARC system as soon as possible operational in the field, which is supported by early field tests and an evolutionary development path. The project will lead to a demonstration of the system in a mine affected area showing its usefulness to potential end users.

The objectives of the ARC project are to consolidate and extend previous experiences and know-how acquired in airborne survey R&D projects for Minefield Area Reduction, by using an existing low-cost helicopter drone and a combination of existing and new sensors. More specifically an advanced improved Multispectral & IR data analysis and innovative fusion techniques will be combined. An Information System, integrated in the ARC concept and including an advanced GIS, should allow for fusion of measured image data, a priori information and geographical information. The ARC system will achieve accurate and effective results for minefield area reduction in order to facilitate the Level 2 survey in a way, which is acceptable for MAC's and Demining Organizations. The very same approach could be used for Quality Control.

Work description:
ARC proposes new methods and technologies for Level 2 survey and post clearance Quality Control based on previous airborne survey R&D.
ARC uses a low cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), exploits current trends in multi spectral imaging, designs novel image analysis algorithms and special to purpose Data Fusion methods, and integrates measured images and geographically referenced data of a GIS.ARC will carry out the following activities:
(1) Develop a Field Investigation System, using a low cost, unmanned, lightweight helicopter drone and exploiting high spectral and spatial resolution imaging systems;
(2) Develop spectral, spatial and temporal image analysis algorithms for the detection of man-made objects, minefield indicators and mine cues.
(3) Develop multi-sensor Data Fusion, based on new methods for the fusion of heterogeneous data, i.e. measurable (radiometric, hyperspectral and spatial information) and symbolic (thematic, human interpreter, and ground truth) data facilitating the detection of man-made objects, minefield indicators and mine cues. A key activity is the full integration of the Data Fusion into a human decision support system through a GIS.
(4) Design an advanced GIS based on available information systems (e.g. IMSMA), maps, evaluation of satellite images, ground data collection and investigations, evaluation of human image interpreters, and computer analysed airborne images.
(5) Set up a technology trial system (demonstrator) to evaluate the ARC concept for Level 2 survey, involving end-users. Extensive trials, under different conditions, will be carried out. These will take place in real minefield areas to evaluate the complete system performance.
(6) Definition of an Operational Procedure for Airborne Minefield Survey, i.e. a complete scheme for Level 2 surveys using an UAV platform, taking into account the commercial constraints coming from competitive bidding.

T0: Kickoff meeting report
T0 + 6 months: System concept meeting
T0 + 12 months: Risk assessment meeting
T0 + 22 months: Integration flight
T0 + 30 months: End of Demonstrator trial evaluation and dissemination of the results

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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1050 WIEN

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Total cost
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Participants (6)