Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Landmine blitzing

15.05.2003


Mine-infested land can now be rendered safe by a new tractor that crushes unexploded bombs.



Unexploded anti-personnel landmines litter the border between Croatia and what was once Yugoslavia. The mine-infested area spans more or less half of the country and roughly 1,700 km2 of minefields are left to clear.

EUREKA’s first foray into anti-personnel landmine technology, the ORACLE project has developed a rugged tractor for clearing mines and unexploded shells from agricultural land. Adapted from a conventional forestry vehicle, the ORACLE system is cheap, quick, reliable - and safe.


Belgian, Croatian and Swedish partner companies developed the heavily armoured tracked loader to clear up to 20,000 square metres of land an hour. It uses carbide metal rods spinning at up to 200 revolutions per minute to fracture the mines before detonating them. After it is cleared, the land can be cultivated straight away.

The ORACLE system is made up of a 25-ton tracked tractor carrying the rotating de-mining tool. An armour-plated trailer carrying a 660kW power unit sits behind.

Unlike manual de-mining devices, ORACLE is remotely controlled and has a precise global positioning system. This ensures it is safe and that the areas cleared are reliably recorded.

Rotator technology

Like the tractor unit, the basic form of the rotator tool is part of an existing forestry machine. Starting with proven, comparatively mass-produced technology has helped to keep the cost of developing, operating and maintaining ORACLE low. The additional, patented, features developed during the project allow the clearing device to absorb the physical shock of an explosion with minimal damage. The result is flexible and resilient: a machine that reliably clears mines of any size or form, in any type of soil, in any terrain that is accessible to a tractor and at temperatures ranging from 45 to -30 degrees C.

While the financial support to be gained from participating in the EUREKA project was helpful, for Lars Nylin, managing director of Countermine Engineering Ab, the Swedish company that led the project, the chief benefit was networking.

"The technical and economic auditors were helpful with knowledge and contacts throughout the project," Nylin explains. "EUREKA also appointed a special auditor from the site which was quite helpful with contacts. We are really pleased with their support and the way EUREKA has worked for us."

ORACLE technology is already in use clearing mines in Croatia mainly because the country possesses the most advanced market, but the team is looking for financing to expand into other markets. "There is so much work in the Balkan region we haven’t sprung out from there yet, but if we are financed and we get serial production going we most certainly will go into other markets. There are strong requests for participating in Afghanistan at the moment," Nylin adds.

Nicola Vatthauer | EUREKA
Further information:
http://www.eureka.be/ifs/files/ifs/jsp-bin/eureka/ifs/jsps/publicShowcase.jsp?fileToInclude=ProjectProfile.jsp?docid=1448119

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht A laser for divers
03.05.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making Waves

Computer scientists use wave packet theory to develop realistic, detailed water wave simulations in real time. Their results will be presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference.

Think about the last time you were at a lake, river, or the ocean. Remember the ripples of the water, the waves crashing against the rocks, the wake following...

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanostructures taste the rainbow

29.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique unveils 'matrix' inside tissues and tumors

29.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Cystic fibrosis alters the structure of mucus in airways

29.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>