the human touch
In Cambodia, at the best of times, mine clearance is a hot, sweaty-backed business.
Because the trip line hidden underground may cause an explosion, vegetation must be cleared by hand before starting to detect mines.
This is a nasty thing, can occupy two
Thirty clearer working days.
Discover and mine every piece of metal
In the dry season, the ground can be rock
It is well known that efforts and \"deminers\" must be painstakingly moved forward, may be stimulated or may be dug with small shovels.
Only one of the thousands of discoveries can be explosive, but you can\'t let your attention slip away for a moment.
Most of the deminers working on this hard work are not experts, but locals who have gone through two or three weeks of training courses.
Cambodia is not alone.
Current best estimates suggest that 25 million mines may be buried around the world.
This is much less worrying than before, but still enough to pollute a country within three months, killing or hurting two thousand people a month, many of whom are children.
The current method of clearing land is slow and mines can remain active for many years.
What should I do? but what?
At first glance, the answer seems obvious: the introduction of super-
Fast robots, connect them to remote sensors and control them from a distance through a computer.
In countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, most scientists and engineers engaged in mine clearance technology have been doing so.
You will see me in a typical advanced research lab.
Like a target in a giant sandbox.
Control positioning equipment.
The researchers will bend over on computers that analyze my \"features\" that are detected remotely on the ground --
Penetrating Radar and polarized infrared cameras.
With the combination of information from these sensors, these labs can get stunning images of cave objects.
They all left a deep impression on people.
However, despite the large amount of funding spent on these projects, the results to date have been of no use to humanitarian mine action in countries such as Cambodia, Mozambique, Angola and Afghanistan that have mined serious mines.
The problem is that researchers have made it their goal to detect buried mines.
But the focus of the real minefield is very different.
The removal of vegetation and trip lines, as well as the distinction between mines and scrap metals, are key issues.
The pursuit of expensive technology designed to find mines on a flat lawn is a regrettable misconception of the actual work of the miners.
Part of the problem is that almost all laboratory research is driven by military needs.
Generals may want to quickly pass through the safe passage of the minefield at night or under enemy fire.
But the most important thing in humanitarian mine clearance is not speed, but the ability to completely clean up the land in order to return it to the community.
This means that in order to achieve the wrong goal, potentially useful methods are usually developed.
For example, the ability to detect explosives without laborious excavation of scrap metal could be a boon.
A promising method is to detect nitrogen in explosives with neutron bombardment.
When nitrogen is captured, gamma rays that produce known energy can be detected.
Another technique is \"nuclear four-pole resonance\", a form of nuclear magnetic resonance that can detect chemical bonds specific to explosives by absorbing radio waves in the nucleus.
Unlike NMR, The NQR uses the Earth\'s magnetic field instead of a powerful magnet.
The problem is that the study of this method aims to use them for military purposes as quickly as possible, with little regard to costs.
Humanitarian deminers, even if they are slow to move, need cheap and highly reliable tools.
Technologies such as NQR are exaggerated in terms of concepts that are critical to clearing \"plastic\" mines. Most so-
Mines known as \"plastic\" actually contain metal firing needles that sensitive metal detectors can now find.
Only a few wellsdefined zones—usually high-tech war ones—
A small part of the special zero
Metal mines can avoid detectors and must be found by other means, such as stimulation.
In any case, the extension of the study plan-
Some people won\'t have results in ten years.
This is a major problem for miners.
Afghanistan plans to clear all potentially the most productive and useful contaminated land by 2007.
Some 4,000 deminers have cleared 850 mines and mine clearance is now the largest source of employment in Afghanistan.
A common argument to replace these manual deminers with machines and software is that this will reduce risk and improve efficiency.
In fact, neither is it.
As we all know, new software is unreliable and advanced electronic technology is out of date in many minefield.
Deminers in rural Angola have problems with battery-equipped metal detectors.
In addition, skilled deminer can observe and perceive suspicious objects at the same time, listen to the sound of the tool touching metal or plastic, and make quick decisions based on sparse information in unique situations.
No matter whether there is a battery or not, Nomachine can replicate these skills.
In fact, human deminers have cleared the land more safely than ever before.
Accidentrates about 1 person per 30 people-
While the generously funded laboratory research has failed, the simple and pragmatic concept developed in this area has made significant progress in humanitarian destruction in recent years.
Commercial and non-commercial, for example
The government has installed mines.
Gap tractor with agricultural flils to remove vegetation: either the driver is protected by thick steel plates or protectedthe-
The shelf remote can drive from a safe distance. Similarly,home-
The armored excavators made are used to screen the excavated construction waste.
Using simple protective equipment being manufactured in countries such as Cambodia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, a miner can sometimes
Personnel mines exploded and only scratched.
Although some types of mines have an anti-personnel radius of 50 metres.
All of these methods are based on an in-depth understanding of local needs and human resourcestech research.
Over the past 20 years, we have seen the Asian model emerge many times in the developing world --
From agriculture and water supply to urban transportation and rural telecom.
Everyone wants mine clearance to be safer, faster and cheaper.
Scientists can help by making their work more relevant, but deminius is desperate for this to happen.
Someone must prove them wrong somewhere.