Detection and removal of antipersonnel landmines is, at the present time, a serious problem of political, economical, environmental and humanitarian dimensions in Egypt. Egypt has been listed as the country most contaminated by landmines in the world with an estimate of approximately 22.7 million landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). The humanitarian demining activities carried-out to remove landmines and UXOs from the vast contaminated areas in Egypt are not on the same level of the problem. For example, in the conventional mag-and-flag approach or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), human deminers use metal detectors to identify targets, which are then flagged for subsequent digging. These conventional methods make the procedure of removing great numbers of landmines very slow, inefficient, dangerous and costly. More efficient ways to detect and locate landmines and UXOs are needed. Once the ordnance has been located, it can be neutralized or destroyed. Following the currently used conventional techniques, the mission of removing a great numbers of landmines would be very slow, labor intensive, costly, inefficient, extremely dangerous and stressful process.
MineProbe: A Distributed Mobile Sensor System for Minefield Reconnaissance and Mapping in Egypt is an applied research project funded within Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Programme of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and the European Union (EU-Egypt Innovation Fund – Grant Scheme 1 – EuropeAid/132-715/M/ACT/EG).
This project aims at developing a novel minefield reconnaissance and mapping system in Egypt focusing on North West Coast (NWC) as location of the action. MineProbe will encompass a number of spatially distributed unmanned vehicles equipped with different types of sensors to detect obstacles, landmines and UXOs. The system will provide a minefield map in which the locations of the detected landmines and UXOs are identified. This map can be used later by the Army engineers to destroy or deactivate the identified ordinances in the field. he project involves collaboration between researchers, experts in their fields, from academic, industrial and governmental institutions pooling their talents to find innovative solutions to the problem of reconnaissance and mapping in NWC.
MineProbe is a two-year applied research project that has started in July 2015. MineProbe project is organized around eight interrelated work packages with 23 tasks. This workshop is dedicated to review the progress of the following work packages of MineProbe project:
- WP-1: Domain Review
- WP-2: Locomotion Systems for Rough Terrain
- WP-3: Global Localization for Unmanned Vehicles
- WP-4: Hybrid Control System for Unmanned Vehicles
- WP-5: Multimodal Landmine and UXO Detection System
- WP-6: Multiple Mobile Sensors Coordination
- WP-7: Team-theoretic Approach to Minefield Reconnaissance and Mapping
- WP-8: System Integration and Field Trials