Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - IPhone App may be a breakthrough in hi-tech landmine detection



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

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at