Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

New tools for mine detection

An EU team is working on systems for detection and disposal of unexploded mines and other bombs. The promising tools include spatial information and satellite data systems, new kinds of robotic detectors, trained bees and personal protection suits.
New tools for mine detection
Mines and other unexploded ordnance (UXOs) often remain long after a military conflict is over, where their danger prevents return to normal land use. Safe disposal of explosives is vital, but requires painstaking detection.

Helping to improve matters is the EU-funded 'Toolbox implementation for removal of anti-personnel mines, submunitions and UXO' (TIRAMISU) project. Consisting of 26 partners, from 11 European countries plus Japan, the project aims to provide the mine action community with tools for three aspects of demining. These are: planning, detection and disposal, plus training tools. The project is divided into 10 modules covering these areas. The four-year undertaking winds up at the end of 2015.

During the project's first year, it defined, commenced development of and revised a tool set. The set in its latter version includes a spatial information system, a system for acquiring satellite data, and a mine action management tool that utilises the other two systems.

During the second year, work on mine detection continued, and certain detectors were mounted on robotic ground platforms for testing. One platform was designed for both mine action and agricultural applications. Drones were evaluated and purchased, and one is being tested for use in mine action. Honey bees are also being evaluated for use as explosives detectors, with results from Croatia showing promise.

The project is developing two educational tools about mine risk: a video game and a radio play. The play was tested on refugees in Algeria.

Further work involved development of explosives disposal tools, including blast-resistant vessels and wheels, decomposition of the man-made chemical RDX and prototyping of neutralisation sets. The project is also selecting and testing the best personal protective equipment, which involves use of a triple-action launcher to make the tests more ballistically realistic.

The group is combining all the tools into a single system, with special focus on designing the communication system. The protocols for final validation have been established.

Lastly, the project has achieved publicity through its website and presentations, which led to preparation of a documentary for Austrian and Belgian television.

TIRAMISU will provide users with certified operational tools and user support. This will facilitate safe detection and neutralisation of UXOs, removing a significant danger.

Related information




Mine detection, mines, unexploded ordnance, explosives, submunitions
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