These Businesses Are Exploring New Drone Technology for Mine Detection

Recent trials and research point to drones offering increased safety for Armed Forces personnel. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory leads the research in using drones equipped with sensors to detect ground mines efficiently and swiftly, lessening the danger of these hidden explosives.

James Cartlidge MP, Minister for Defence Procurement, commented on the importance of this technology, saying, “We’ve all seen the threat to safety and military advancement that mines can still pose. The UK and our NATO allies are spearheading research into this technology. It has the potential to enhance protection for our Service Personnel and speed up battlefield progress.”

Matt Chinn, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Chief Delivery Officer, explained the advantage of combining drone and sensing technologies. “Converging these technologies could give us the ability to detect and destroy deadly mines and explosives without risking lives. This could also let us clear mined areas better, quicker, and at a lower cost, aiding military operations or humanitarian missions.”

Land Warfare’s New Approach

Ground mines have long been a dangerous and effective warfare strategy. But with these advancements in drone technology, their threat might be greatly reduced. The main aim is to determine threats in advance, so necessary actions on the battlefield can be taken swiftly.

Dr Paul Hollinshead, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Chief Executive, praised the collaboration involved in this project. “This is Dstl working with UK industry and international partners at its best. It’s highly innovative, developing new concepts, sharing expertise, and harnessing the latest science and technology to save lives.”

Two weeks of NATO trials provided a platform for various organisations to showcase their UAV-mounted sensor concepts, leading to a rich exchange of ideas and solutions. The UK’s system demonstrated its reliability during these trials, marking an encouraging step towards future research and projects.

AI Paving the Way in Mine Detection

Safe Pro AI, a company focusing on automated threat detection, uses artificial intelligence and drones to address the issues of land mines. Mines are found in over 60 countries, leading to thousands of casualties annually. Traditional methods of detecting them have been slow and dangerous.

Safe Pro AI offers an efficient solution. Their technology processes both aerial and ground-based imagery quickly, identifying, classifying, and aiding in the clearance of landmines. Their software’s strength lies in a proprietary dataset that allows for fast detection of threats from aerial imagery. This gives precise GPS locations and essential reporting information to those on the ground.


How Safe Pro AI Works

Safe Pro AI uses a three-step approach:
High Altitude large area survey: The AI processes high-resolution aerial imagery to locate and label threats, adding a GPS tag.

Low altitude precision: Drones with the GPS data gather high-resolution 3D lidar imagery, pinpointing the location of the mines.

Analytical reports: These help decision-makers understand safe and danger zones, allocating resources and teams accordingly.

Applications Beyond Mines

Apart from mine detection, Safe Pro AI’s software also finds use in infrastructure inspection and security. Its real-time processing of imagery helps detect objects of interest on the ground like weapons or improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

In its initial application, using a mix of commercial and consumer drones equipped with various sensors, Safe Pro AI’s software can detect over 50 types of mines and unexploded ordnance with an accuracy of over 80%.

Safe Pro AI, a Safe Pro Group Inc. company, was established in 2020. With its unique approach to using drones and AI for detecting threats, it continues to be a strong presence in this niche, offering invaluable services to make areas safer and save lives.