Countries and populations emerging from armed conflicts are in need to be relieved from the threat of landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW, e.g. cluster ammunition). The SADA activities aim to improve the socio-economic impact of land release activities in Mine Action. Three parallel feasibility studies have evaluated the use of space assets to assist the Mine Action community, with a broad scope, covering activities such as risk and impact analysis, planning, resource management, field operations and reporting.
The overall purpose of the studies is to prove the viability and sustainability of an integrated set of services supporting Land Release in Mine Action at all its levels. Land Release in Mine Action is the process where the demining community identifies and prioritizes suspected hazardous areas for even closer investigation, clears mines in areas where mine contamination is confirmed, and ultimately releases land to the local population. The services will be based on the integration of Earth Observation data, GNSS navigation and SatCom technologies with existing Mine Action tools and methodologies, databases and procedures. Aerial survey technologies will be evaluated as well. In addition to the technical and operational aspects, the legal and end-user point of view with particular focus on user habits, affordability, field use and appropriateness of the technologies will also be assessed.
The scope of the activity has been defined broadly within the end-to-end process of land release in Mine Action, based on the a priori expectations that Earth Observation data, Satellite Communication and Satellite Navigation could be considered of assistance:
The process improvement that can be achieved by better integration of these space enabled solutions into the information management, data analysis and reporting in Mine Action was also part of the study scope.
The six services that have been identied by the user community and the study teams of particular interest for operational deployment are:
GICHD has expressed its interest in these services and will continue to support them. So far, five national mine action centers have indicated strong interest to be involved in further service development. These users have listed below benefits they foresee based on the Feasibility Study results:
Coherent change detection from satellite radar data helps to recognize paths in use by people and animals to aid survey and land release (InfoTerra).
Mine action data and remote sensing imagery from UAV and satellites is used to create hazard maps to assist mine action planning (SAFEDEM).
Increased land use in Brcko (Bosnia) following land release quantifies the value of mine action for donors (INSA).