FindMine, the mine-clearing drone

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As Futura already has related, while the conflict continues in Ukraine, demining operations have already started and, in some cases, with a novelty: the assistance of spot robots to gain safe access to certain areas. The main difficulty is to identify them. Rather than risking the lives of deminers, or the destruction of demining robots, the solution of drone is envisaged by a team of researchers from the Fondation Urs Endress which is made up of several German and Swiss universities. Their project is called Findmine. The idea of ​​using drones to detect landmines dates back to 2015. It is with a sensor radar specific, whose waves penetrate the ground (GPSAR), that the drone is able to identify explosives.

To find buried explosives precisely, the drone mixes a powerful radar with several geolocation systems. © Aslteam YouTube

Centimeter precision

This system makes it possible to reach the recommendations fixed by the UN concerning the demining of explosives. According to the international body, the acceptable minimum is to eliminate 99.6% of mines buried less than 13 cm in the ground. During the operation, the drone evolves at a height of 5 meters above the ground. For precise geolocation, of the order of centimeters, the drone is equipped with a “real-time kinematics” (RTK) system. It comes to support the satellite receiver to refine the position of the explosive. Have all the sensors to obtain the precise position of the explosive took the research teams more than seven years. Today, the system is operational and a start-up has just been created to implement these drones.

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