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 NRL develops laser processing method to increase efficiency of optoelectronic devices
16.04.2019 | Naval Research Laboratory

nachricht Hollow structures in 3D
29.03.2019 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Energy-saving new LED phosphor

The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.

Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour. However, white light can be created using different colour mixing processes.

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Proteins stand up to nerve cell regression

24.04.2019 | Life Sciences

New sensor detects rare metals used in smartphones

24.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Controlling instabilities gives closer look at chemistry from hypersonic vehicles

24.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>