Following an initiative of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), an open competition on the topic of Space Assets for Demining Assistance (SADA) was launched by ESA. Three consortia have been awarded a contract. To ensure the intended services are directly relevant their target users, the Mine Action community takes the driving seat in the activity. In particular, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) plays an important role as ESA.s external advisor. GICHD supports ESA in the definition of the study objectives and by providing a neutral perspective during the course of the study.
In a recent interview with ESA (see embedded video below), GICHD representative Dr. Daniel Eriksson shares his views on the added values of space assets, the relevance of the envisaged services, and acknowledges the necessity of a user driven approach:
The three studies will be run in parallel, providing complementary approaches to the complex and multi-faceted problem. They are expected to produce multiple concepts for space enabled services supporting land release in Mine Action, at its various stages. As part of each feasibility study, the added value, fieldability, affordability and viability of the proposed services will be investigated. The studies will also propose a detailed way forward for one or more pre-operational demonstrations.