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Human Side(s) Of UAVs – Minefields Re-Markation In Bosnia&Herzegovina

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

After the severe floods that hit the Balkan region earlier this year (in particular Bosnia&Herzegovina and Serbia) it went unnoticed in world media that another terrible danger just pop up in its full effect. Mines. Unfortunately, extensive floods did something really scary, beside the fact they are terrifying enough. Shockingly, previously marked mine fields were no longer on the same place. The main contributor is floods, displacing thousands of land mines (which were setted up during the `90s conflicts) and endangering hundreds of thousands.

As a first response in the story came up Haris Balta. Mr Balta works within ICARUS projects which is funded by EU Commission. On explicit Government’s request his team and he, were deployed in order to assist and help. Anyway, he was using modern piece of technique – rotary-wing UAV (Microdrone MD4-1000) and logged approximately 20 flights (both manual and autonomous) at more than a dozen locations.

The profound aim of those flights was to capture imagery that could be used to identify displaced land mines and further to analyze the possible effects of landslides on other explosive devices left after the `90s wars. It has been found that some of the mine(fields) has been moved away for unthinkable 23 km. Mr Balta and his team created 3D maps and used geo-statistical modeling to try to determine in which direction land mines may have been further displaced. However, the shots made also provided valuable updated information on dyke-breaches and other types of infrastructure damage. The second aim was to asses terrain distortions after the landslides appeared.

However, I strongly believe that following video should help you to understand the exact purpose of Mr Balta’s engagement:

According to RoboticsToday, “Serving as an invaluable tool, the UAV has significantly accelerated the relief activities“. It goes without saying that this kind of humanitarian efforts facilitate life of thousands of affected civilians in endangered areas and therefore Mr Balta’s deployment should be strongly praised and rewarded.

But, the story about displaced minefields does not end up here (fortunately). These days Barcelona based company CATUAV, announced that it is going to deploy (once again) team in Bosnia&Herzegovina in order to get even more precise coordinates of the displaced mine fields. Team consists of three persons and one UAV equipped with tools for „land-mine remote sensing“. This is not the first time CATUAV is present in Bosnia&Herzegovina for the same purpose. Previous operations were conducted in the municipality of Hadzici few years back, in an area that still contains a high density of mines buried during the war that affected the country between 1992 and 1995. In coordination with the BHMAC (Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Centre) CATUAV generated high-resolution images in different spectral bands. The application of UAV technology to assist demining is part of the SAFEDEM project led by Radiolabs consortium.

catuav

We are looking forward the first news and updates on CATUAV’s on-going operations in Bosnia&Herzegovina. Stay tuned.

Videos and images courtesy of iRevolution.net, roboticstoday.com and CATUAV.

Human Side(s) Of UAV –Mine Detection Operations And Solutions

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

Twenty thousand. Once again, 20.000. Reasonable question arises after this meaningless number is mentioned. What does it mean and what implications does it have on us? It implies that only in 2013, about 20.000 individuals suffered injuries or passed away as a result of “successful“ performance of land mines all over the world around 78 countries. Pretty scary, shady and dramatic introduction for today’s topic. I am going to try to put the light at the end of the tunnel.

As dronologista mentioned in one of previous posts, the idea is not brand new. Definitely one of the break-through projects was the pioneer project in Croatia, named ARC – Airborne Minefield Area Reduction. The project was developed with a generous support of EU between 2001 and 2003. Helicopter UAV (supported by Mine Information System – MIS) combined with GIS database were the backbone of the project. MIS contains information about mine incidents, drawing, reference maps, etc. Furthermore, it was concluded to be promising and that more research has to be done in order to gain more knowledge and experience. However, since then nothing particularly important happened in this regard, and it seems that whole project is set aside, unfortunately.

ARC Croatia

ARC Croatia

On the other side, we have one Caucasus’s state which is already investing considerable amount of money in developing drones which are going to carry sensors in order to detect mines and at the same time making a huge step ahead in this area. Azerbeijan’s R&D is partly based on the Croatian case as well. The catch about this “aerial vehicle“, as they are used to say (ANAMA), is that it is going to search for a soil distortion in chemical respect which is to be considered as a direct result of mine existance on the particular area. Quite imaginary and ambitious for a laymen, but definitely the long-shot idea which promises a lot. However the technical details are scarce at the moment.

senseFly

senseFly

Together with various countries and international organizations fully engaged in the de-mining issue, there is a solution named eBee manufactured by Swiss company SenseFly Ltd. Referring to the previous text about eBee’s here, it is supposed to bring additional advantages such as 3D flight planning and optical terrain sensor, enabling successful operation in mountainous and remote areas. Moreover it has been already deployed in North Iraq by Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA) for independent testings and researches. One of the first examples of explicit human usage of UAV systems.

All in all, there are listed some of the solutions that is possible to employ. It goes without saying that this technology (as many other) has its bright and dark sides. As for advantages the list is rather long starting with civilian benefits, protecting the personal and individual on the ground, efficiency and time cut and at the very end of the list is cost downsize. On the other side, one of the main disadvantage is reliability of the whole system, as well how the whole system is going to be updated about different and new sorts of improvised explosive devices which are stunningly hard to discover even on the ground.

More improvements are to be expected in this specifically delicate area and dangerous area. Moreover, I would like to come up with the fact that approximately 110 million explosives devices are unevenly located on the planet influencing the life, as a rule, of the poorest share of population. The possible negative impact is only up to your imagination. But luckily more and more UAV systems are to be deployed in order to facilitate life of those affected the most. Because of the human dimension and overall importance of the topic, dronologista is going to update you on any news that come up. Stay tuned.

Pictures taken from sensefly, ANAMA , ARC.