IPhone App may be a breakthrough in hi-tech landmine detection

IPhone App may be a breakthrough in hi-tech landmine detection

When the team from Cambodia Self-Help Demining (CSHD) clears a minefield, the metal detectors can detect as many as 900 items of metallic clutter for every single identified threat.

Each of those positive results must be treated as though dangerous, requiring an enormous investment of time and money.

Bill Morse, CSHD’s chief operations officer, is now an advisor to a project that may help resolve this problem – an iPhone App.

Morse has hooked up with Red Lotus Technology, a US-based start-up company that is developing PETALS, a technology which uses Smartphones to create a visual image of the metallic field created by the debris left in a minefield.

The iPhone attaches to a standard metal detector and each time it identifies a ‘hit,’ the deminer waves his machine over the area in a specific pattern.

Using the magnetic field, the application creates a digital picture of what lies beneath the ground.

“The ultimate objective with PETALS is to create a tool that easily and quickly identifies mines from junk,” said Morse.

“We need something that is cheap and easy to use. Ground penetrating radar is expensive and it’s difficult to train people.”

According to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, 1,624 square kilometres of land in Cambodia remain contaminated.

And the Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority said it will require $455 million to clear 650 square kilometres and survey 1,098 square kilometres of land over the next six years.

Technology that can speed up this process may have a tremendous effect.

“I think the technology is the most promising I have seen,” said Morse, who is looking forward to the trials to be conducted in Siem Reap in March.

“If it can 100 per cent safely distinguish junk from mines, we are talking about a quantum leap in landmine clearance. We could clear fields in a fraction of the time, and faster means fewer deaths and dismemberment.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • US warned not to interfere despite successful meeting

    A senior Ministry of National Defence official said the Tuesday meeting between the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joseph H Felter and General Neang Phat had helped strengthen relations between the two countries’ militaries. However, a senior Cambodian People’