Lee Massey and Colin Wilson
It is the tenth anniversary of the death of Princess Diana and the cause that she sponsored so publicly remains a currently insurmountable problem. There remain millions of landmines that have been laid in unknown locations and indiscriminately take the limbs or lives of 20,000 innocent men, women and children every year. The presence of landmines can deny people access to community resources such as water sources and agricultural land, creating or worsening poverty. Previously finding landmines was a difficult, time consuming and expensive task. Galileo and this proposed new system codenamed “LARS” will give operatives eyes, and direct to the mines with great precision.
The system consists of:
- Small ground penetrating radar mounted on a boom or remotely controlled model helicopter
- GPS reference markers, which are GPS devices mounted on metal plates
- A system to overlay the radar data on the Galileo map data
- System to identify mines within this data using their spectral signature
- A user friendly output showing exact positions of suspected mines marked in red; areas of uncertainty in amber, and safe areas in green
The “Landmine Archive and Retrieval System (LARS)” system uses GNSS data to accurately link the radar data to the real world, and give output in a user-friendly format. Once an accurate position of the reference points (provided by Galileo) is ascertained in the image, together with the position and height of the sensor (again from GNSS), the frame can be accurately georeferenced to a known map by matching geographically identical points in the image and known map. When using orthorectified map data as the base map, the resulting radar image will also be orthorectified. The mines, detected from the radar image using their spectral signature can then be displayed on an easy to read map. The results will finally be used to navigate personnel to or around the detected mines, using standard GPS navigation, linked to the Galileo network.
The target market for such a system is governments and organisations who work to remove the danger of landmines. This equates to approximately 35 countries and dozens of humanitarian organisations.
The use of “LARS” is not limited to hunting land mines, the technology could be adapted quickly for searching for items that are different from the surrounding ground (shallow), such as mineral deposits, archaeological remains etc.
“LARS” will vastly improve detection rates (particularly for small devices), reduce costs and allow great areas of land to be liberated, and save many lives. Its use of automated detection processing allows large areas to be swept quickly, efficiently and safely.
Mr. Colin Wilson
28 Chemin des Marsaults
phone: +33 (0) 478 66 10 70