ˇTable of Contents
ˇWorkshop - Landmine Detection Equipment
Sophisticated Facility for Antipersonnel Landmines Detection Equipment Assessment in Realistic ConditionsDamir Goreta, Josip Tulicic,
Croatian Mine Action Centre, Croatia
1.1 Origin of mine contaminated regions in the Republic of Croatia
The present day situation considering the mine contaminated regions in Croatia is a consequence of usage of antipersonnel and antitank mines since August 1990. This time interval is divided into several stages, that are important to be known if one wants to approach the humanitarian demining organisation in Croatia efficiently.
In the stage I (August 1990 - August 1991) the laying of single mines and clusters of mines in particular points and roads took place. Mines were used also for the reinforcement of fortifications. Additionally, the booby-traps were laid. The stage II (August 1991 - January 3rd 1992) is characterised by a large-scale creation of all kinds of mine fields. In the stage III (January 3rd 1992 - April 1994) there was partial removal of first minefields to new locations and the mine war was intensified. In the stage IV (April 1994 - January 15th 1998) minefields were maintained, enlarged, shifted, falsified and the new ones were being made. During the stages III and IV in the mine clearance operations the UNPROFOR was involved, while in the stage V (January 15th 1998 - ) the humanitarian demining in the Republic of Croatia is managed, supervised and financed by the Government of the Republic of Croatia and responsible institutions of local government and self-government. The institutions which formations marked the beginning of this stage are the UN MAC, AKD Mungos and CROMAC. In addition, the complete engagement of engineer troops of the Croatian Army and Special Police Forces of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Croatia took place.
1.2 Humanitarian demining legal framework in the Republic of Croatia
At the March 1st 1996 the Law on mine clearance was passed.
Initially, the implementation of the Law called for great efforts, in particular because there was no body that would organise the mine clearance process. The UN undertook that task by establishing UN MAC. Nevertheless, it soon became evident that this was not completely efficient. For better co-ordination of the interests of the counties, large public companies, private and international demining companies, UN, governmental and non-governmental organisations, achieving a better co-ordination of quality assurance process, mine fields records and cleared areas status there was a need to establish a national demining body. In order to achieve that, on February 19th 1998, the Government of the Republic of Croatia passed the act of establishing of the Croatian Mine Action Centre as a central national body with a task to organise the mine clearance activities.
2.1 CROMAC's tasks
The task of the Croatian Mine Action Centre is to plan and implement the mine clearance operations in the Republic of Croatia. In order to accomplish the task, the Croatian Mine action Centre has to carry out several subtasks. Those subtasks include, with no limitations, the following:
In order to fulfil the tasks mentioned a whole range of supportive tasks should be carried out including the training of the staff and different demining experts, team leaders, equipment operators, computer technicians and people dealing in finances and budget, etc.
2.2 Safety standards and mine clearance quality standards
Efficiency of mine clearance is one of the important mine clearance standards. In humanitarian clearance it is necessary to remove all the mines in the area where people live and work or where they could or should live and work. UN has stipulated the quality standards of the mine clearance efficiency on 99,6% of removed mines. In order to establish the level of efficiency, one should know the correct number of mines.
Apart from the problem of standards, there is a working safety problem as well. In order to minimise the danger, certain measures should be implemented, with the purpose of preventing the incidents during the mine clearance. Therefore, during the mine clearance that is supposed to result in achieved standards it is necessary
2.3 Regional role of CROMAC
In accordance with the Ottawa Agreement, the CROMAC has to destroy or ensure destruction of all antipersonnel mines and to inform public about it. CROMAC, as a leading mine clearance organisation in the region can help in the establishment of the system of national mine action centres, of the legal framework concerning the mine clearance problems and of the economic and commercial relations. It can help in the transfer of the technology for humanitarian mine clearance and in the transfer of high technology in the expert education with its own methods, expert leadership and technically qualified staff.
3.1 Survey level I
By survey level I necessary information about the location, appearance and basic characteristics of the mine-suspected area are gathered. This phase of survey is done by gathering of information by talks, polls, questionnaires, taking photographs of the area. Its mains characteristics is that it is carried out from available safe areas.
There can be gathered several types of information from survey level I. These include general information, information about the location and contamination of the suspected area, information about the characteristics of the areas important for future demining operations, evaluations of the possible demining methods and further activities in mine clearance as well as risk assessment.
3.2 Survey level II
By survey level II the actual contamination with mines and unexploded explosive ordnances (UXOs) is being verified; magnitude and contents of minefields and clusters of mines are determined; UXOs, clusters of mines and minefields are marked and fenced off; the actually mined areas and those contaminated by UXOs are determined within the mine-suspected areas as well as those that are not mine contaminated (i.e. mine suspected area reduction); the proportions of the areas that have to be demined or pyrotechnically surveyed are determined.
The CROMAC carries out survey level II for the projects of humanitarian demining, for the purpose of mine-suspected area reduction and for the purpose of urgent action in the case of mine incidents.
Basic survey level II methods include manual techniques, specially trained dogs and flail machines. In addition, this methods may be combined. Survey level II is carried out by specially trained deminers organised in survey teams, usually assisted by teams of Special Police deminers, small demining machine and mine detection dogs.
From the given characteristics of the survey level II it is seen that it's risk is very high. For the task of lowering the risk the contributions could give the groups of experts that work on the development of a buried objects detection equipment that could enable less risky operations. Generally, the risk could be lowered by faster, more reliable, automatised detection of buried objects that has more pronounced non-contact character than the existing methods of detection have. However, the research process should be supported with the reliable results of field performance of the equipment. These kind of results could be obtained presumably from the controlled experiments conducted in the specially prepared regions. The characteristics of the regions used in the experiments, e.g. soil structure and climate conditions, should follow those of the mine contaminated regions.
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