ALDrone is small, lightweight drone that detects landmines using remote sensors to spot the erosion created by the chemical elements in a mine.
Today there are 110M landmines deployed in 78 countries, including Europe, killing up to 20,000 a year. The removal of landmines is slow and manual, dangerous (for every 5000 mines cleared 1 worker is killed and 2 injured), and costly ($300–1000 to remove 1 mine). In the past 5 years less than 1000 km2 worldwide were cleared of mine. At this pace it will take 1100yrs to remove all the landmines. To meet these needs we created the Anti-Landmine Drone (ALDrone) a small, lightweight drone that detects landmines using a multispectral camera to spot the erosion created by the decomposition of the chemical elements in a mine. Our system can cover the same area in 1 day that other landmine detection methods take a month to cover, using an off-site central control station meaning no chance of explosion while locating mines, thus preventing the loss of lives. Our solution has a competitive cost to make it available to as many countries as possible.
ALDRONE uses latest satellite positioning for precise photomosaic georeferencing, and advanced algorithms to generate relevant indices to improve landmine presence probability.
Governments and humanitarian agencies across the globe have been working to eliminate these landmines and make the affected areas safe for civilians again. In 1997 the Ottawa Convention, also known as Mine Ban Treaty, came into being with the goal of ridding the world of landmines. Currently 161 countries including UN member states have signed the treaty.
ALDrone was developed under an agreement with Telespazio in order to provide operational solution for the European Space Agency (ESA) Space Assets for Demining Assistance (SADA) Project. European Commision SME Instrument Phase 1 Grant (June 2015). Funds 300 k€, 6 FTE and TRL 7.
Evidence of success
Several flight campaigns for the Bosnia & Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC). Results protected under trade secret.
Winner of the GSA-European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency
Award for the best EGNOS application of the year
Semi-finalist of the Drones for Good award in Dubai. Landmine Detection
Winner of the Social Innovation Drone Award in the USA. Landmine Detection
Project signed up at UNGM (United Nations Global Marketplace) with ID 470240
EC SME Instrument Phase 1(06/15)
Qualified On-board sensors.
Satellite positioning for more precise navigation and photogrammetry.
Vertical landing for fixed-wing drones.
Landmine detection algorithm.
Front-end interface easy to operate.
Potential for learning or transfer
Difficult to say due to the extremely specialized area of application.
However, use of proceedings and tasks oriented to complex projects management could be applied to any other relevant projects using drone technology.