with Current Demining Technologies
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Challenges with Using Drones:
Metal Detection Problems
Most land-mine-infected regions of the world are covered in brush, prohibiting drones close enough access to detect metal.
In former war zones, 1000 or more harmless bits of metal are detectable for every one land mine, making it impossible for drones to distinguish which metal is explosive.
AP mines, with their plastic housings, aren’t easily detectable. Neither are minimum metal AT mines.
Drones clear each mine by placing and detonating another explosive on top of the metal it detects—a particularly unsafe practice in a field of live, undetonated mines.
In regions where 1000 or more harmless bits of metal are detectable for every one land mine, drones will spend many operating hours setting off explosions on top of metals that aren’t land mines—dangerous, expensive, and a significant waste of demining time.
Since most mined regions are covered in brush and explosions are not contained, any unseen passersby (such as curious children, animals, or birds) can easily be injured or killed by the double explosions.
Because drones detonate each land mine with another explosive, the integrity of precious topsoil is blown apart, resulting in devastating topsoil erosion and other farming and environmental impacts, in regions already limited in their ability to farm due to the danger of land mines.
Problems with Using
Military Tanks/Large Vehicles:
Military demining tanks streak over fields to detonate mines. The military accepts 90 percent of mines detonated a success. Humanitarian standards require over 99 percent elimination.
Like tanks, giant converted excavators drive over minefields to explode the land mines before them. Due to their massive size, both types of vehicles are limited in the areas they can access.
Converted excavators appear strong enough to withstand mine blasts, but in fact, frequent and costly repairs are necessary.
Tanks and other large vehicles are expensive to transport and require huge amounts of power to operate.
Except for military tank deminers paid for by government funding, other demining machines prove too large and expensive to continue to operate, and many of the companies go out of business.
Giant demining vehicles detonate mines without containing the blasts, destroying soil integrity and natural flora, endangering wildlife, and leaving a host of new environmental problems behind.