Nowadays landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) still represent a danger for civilians, even long after conflicts. In addition, both dramatically hinder the recovery of economies impacted by a conflict, because resources located within areas such as arable land, infrastructure and water suspected of mine contamination cannot be exploited.
The key points of SAFEDEM are:
The SAFEDEM project has three main objectives.
The first one is to define a concept for a system and its associated services based on existing space assets " namely Earth Observation, Navigation, Communication " to support the various levels of the Land Release process and, more generally, of the humanitarian demining activities.
The second objective is to perform a proof of concept to validate the proposed approach, using satellite images and the associated image analysis techniques, and a mobile mapping platform associated to a mobile broadband shared network based on Satellite Navigation (NAV) and Satellite Communication (COM) space assets.
The third objective is to analyze the economic and non-economic viability of the system and services.
All the objectives have been reached in a completely user-driven way, with a direct and deep involvement of the potential final users of the system and services.
Satellite imaging appears as the most useful space assets category. Users are most interested in information obtained from remote sensing images, through mapping, land cover analysis, and specific mine-action-related indicator extraction. Satellite imaging is already considered as an essential value-providing asset in the MA community, but there is a real need for services which make them really useful and usable.
Satellite positioning is also perceived as an essential asset for operation, and widely used. Integration of satellite positioning with data gathering enhances the quality and reliability of data, and guarantees immediate georeferencing. Use of GNSS together with all survey and demining assets is desirable and generally feasible at reasonable cost. There is a need for lower-cost, user-friendly high precision GNSS. Furthermore GNSS is required to support UAV operations to map suspected areas in high resolution.
Satellite communication was originally considered for user needs and requirements, but users and stakeholders showed low levels of interest for SATCOM solutions.
The main expected advantage of applying SAFEDEM concepts to Mine Action has been identified in discussion with users in the reduction of areas covered by technical survey. The capability to define with more reliability and more detail the levels of risk within areas suspected of mine presence, as well as the capability to identify more precisely the boundaries of risk areas, are two ways to reduce the area to be dealt with by "technical survey" for mine clearance, i.e. the area in which physical direct inspection has to be performed rather than "distance survey" by means of any available information.
The proposed SAFEDEM solution is structured in seven System and Service Concepts.
A SSC-oriented overview of the operational concept of the SAFEDEM solution, from the perspective of the Mine Action actors, is provided in the following diagram.
In particular, SatImage, MiniUAS, T-maps and MA-maps are all related to the provision of images and maps. The Mine Action users will contact the SAFEDEM Service Provider whenever they will need satellite imagery for large areas or very high resolution images for smaller areas the last ones being acquired on demand by means of a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or even thematic maps, chosen in a wide catalogue and going up to risk maps that the SAFEDEM Service will produce, also exploiting the data provided by the same users.
GeoBI will bring the power of a Decision Support System into the Mine Action arena, allowing the users to improve communication with donors about the achieved results and to obtain help in the planning and prioritization phase as well.
FieldKit will equip the Mine Action operator with a handy tool that will ease data collection as well as data access when in the field.
GeoPortal-SDI will enable the Mine Action Community to collaborative manage, analyze, and exploit geo-data.
The project kickoff was on January 3, 2011 while the Final Presentation was held on April 25, 2012, ending the Feasibility Study phase.
The SAFEDEM partnership has been extended to e-GEOS. SAFEDEM activities have been continued into the SAFEDEM Demonstration Project.