Großbritannien: Forschungsteam arbeitet an hochauflösender Minensuch-Drohne

Der erste Prototyp der Drohne wurde bereits Anfang April 2016 über dem bekannten Fußballstadion „Old Trafford“ in Manchester getestet. Der Versuch sollte zeigen, dass die Drohne mit der neuen hochauflösenden Bildtechnologie innerhalb von zwei Stunden eine Fußballfeld-große Fläche erfassen und nach Minen absuchen kann (auf Englisch).

Entminung in Bosnien © P. Vermeulen / Handicap International


Typically, flying a drone over a football stadium would stir up an outrage, but earlier this month at Old Trafford in Greater Manchester, England, an unmanned aircraft was allowed to do just that as researchers demonstrated the potential of an airborne approach to landmine detection.

Funded by Manchester United’s Sir Bobby Charlton, the Find A Better Way charity has been looking to advance technologies since 2011 in order to enable safer and more efficient clearance of landmines. The researchers estimate that removing the landmines scattered around the world will cost $30 billion, and could take more than 1,000 years. The plan is to significantly cut these numbers by fitting drones with hyperspectral imaging technology to identify where mines are buried.

"Flying over the Manchester United pitch will demonstrate that we can map a football pitch-sized area of land in two hours or less," said John Fardoulis, project researcher from Bristol University. "Clearing a minefield that size can currently take months, and the maps our drones will generate should help deminers focus on the places where mines are most likely to be found. This will speed the process up and make the demining significantly safer."

The drone that flew above Old Trafford snapped hi-res images to clearly show the terrain and objects on the ground. If the team’s hyperspectral imaging drones come along as expected, they’ll be capable of performing flyovers and gather images at various wavelengths, or colors, of light, which could indicate explosive chemicals seeping from landmines.

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