Landmines are a scourge of modern warfare. Even years after a military engagement, mines can continue to maim and kill civilians. New technology has been developed that can help to resolve this problem. Mine Warfare Rapid Assessment Capability (MIW RAC) is a bold new invention that can detect buried and submerged land mines.
This device will be critical to saving soldiers’ lives as well as innocent civilians. MIW RAC is a quadrotor unmanned aircraft system in short a UAS, that detects harmful mines.
This technology will help Sailors and Marines who are approaching a beachfront to rapidly clear, or at least determine the location of, mines.
Brass Approves Mine Warfare Rapid Assessment Capability
The device was presented to the brass and the press at an event held at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, in Southern California. Dr. Cory Stephanson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadband Discovery Systems (BDS), and Dr. Rosemarie Oelrich, a scientist at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock’s Combatant Craft Division, developed the MIW RAC.
The device is made to help explosive ordnance disposal teams locate mines and dangerous metal obstacles quickly. MIW RAC can be used within very shallow water zones and coastal surf zones.
DVIDS mentioned that MIW RAC is going to provide a real-time aerial capacity to existing underwater mine-detection capabilities.
Matt Matteson, the Command Master Chief of Office of Naval Research, said: “this technology will help Sailors and Marines who are approaching a beachfront to rapidly clear, or at least determine the location of, mines or other hazards that are in their way”. He also added that “it could potentially save a lot of lives.”
The Office of Naval Research’s TechSolutions program sponsored the development of MIW RAC.
The idea of MIW RAC was launched in 2015 after the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) asked TechSolutions to make a portable system that can identify potential dangers in surf zones.
In order to create the components of MIW RAC, NECC worked together with Combat Direction Systems Activity Dam Neck, NSWC Carderock, and two other companies – Physical Sciences Incorporated, and BDS.
Equipped with a proprietary magnetometer sensor suite, MIW RAC now has the capability to detect information over a wide range and use complex algorithms to distinguish different types of objects. It is a feature that has widespread applications and one that can benefit military personnel and also the civilians.
Land Mines Have Been an Ongoing Concern That Drones May Solve
Smithsonian.com has reported that there are still a lot of active land mines from World War II. Non-government organizations who are against land mines still continue to fight for awareness and support. They support the development of MIW RAC.
Land mines are a danger to civilians especially to children who are naturally curious to wander about pick things up from the ground. Abandoned mines are a persistent danger to people in former combat zones.
Following are a few of the many non-governmental organizations against the production of land mines:
- Human Rights Watch
- Medico International
- Handicap International
- Physicians for Human Rights
- Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation
- Mines Advisory Group
These organizations have joined the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. It is a coalition of NGO’s seeking to eliminate the use of land mines. The coalition wants to see a world that is free of cluster munitions and anti-personnel mines.
The development of MIW RAC provides hope and security to a lot of people and may make the dream of the NGOs to eliminate mines, into a reality. Stephanson and Oelrich are two individuals who turned their ideas into a useful tool that can help all of mankind. New technologies can help people and improve the world.