The study aims to outline the basic issues that affect the safety of mine- removal teams working in conflict affected areas. The study examines the equipment and practices used in manual landmine clearance operations, the working environments, weapons and a variety of other factors – it seeks to define what causes accidents to occur and how injuries are sustained. The research output is a detailed visual systems map containing many sub-studies as well as an electronically simulated environment developed so that scenarios could be created and solutions evaluated in safety.
The project has been guided by the insights of individuals who have supported NGOs in the field – most notably Andy Smith, a specialist in humanitarian demining and MAG (Mine Advisory Group) who allowed me hands on access to their collection of decommissioned ordinance.
The literature and insights collected, were organised with the help of a systemic map telling a detailed story of the complex issues surrounding the subject, the aim being to build a shared understanding of the problem from different perspectives. The map is organised as a timeline representing the period in time from when a explosive hazard exists until such time as it is detonated or neutralised.
Simulating minefields for prototyping scenarios
Electonic replicas of mines were developed so that hands-on research could be carried out in safety (and in an academic environment).
The replicas were accurately modelled from decommissioned ordinance (mainly anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions), internal structures were modified for 3D printing and outfitted with custom electronics, (including pressure sensors, accelerometers, wireless transmitter for live streaming data) and interchangeable springs (so that decaying parts could be accounted for). The result was a flexible tool for prototyping scenarios in safety.
Do you have something to add? or does the research sound relevant to your work? If so please get in touch!
I would love to hear from anyone involved in mine action – mine removal teams, NGOs, medics (both surgeons and rehabilitation), blast specialists, war photographers, campaigners amongst others who would be willing to share their personal experiences. Building a picture of the problems from many different perspectives is core to developing relevant solutions – The visualisation you see is a collection of some of the insights gathered to date.