Scientists create device that remotely blasts improvised land mines

February 16th, 2011 - 3:45 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 16 (ANI): Scientists at EPFL in Switzerland have created a new device that enables the remote explosion of land mines using energy from their electromagnetic impulses.

This type of mine is often used by guerrillas or terrorist groups in conflict zones and can kill or mutilate hundreds of thousands of people every year, mainly civilians.

Felix Vega and Nicolas Mora had two challenges - the first was to find a way of inducting a current that would be strong enough to set off, at a distance, the detonators of the mines, sometimes buried deep in the ground. And the second was they to be sure of attaining the resonance frequencies of the various types of mines, which are all constructed in different ways.

To scan the highest possible number of frequencies, it’s necessary to create short impulses, with a very fast response time.

In thus spanning a large spectrum of resonances, “only a fraction of the impulse we create reaches the target, and by then the current is no longer strong enough to explode the mine”, explained Professor Farhad Rachidi.

“We then realised that in spite of the wide diversity of these mines, they are however all in similar frequency ranges. So we developed a system that concentrates on those, and thus loses less energy,” said Mora.

“Now we have to develop a smaller prototype that is weather-resistant and especially easier to transport in the field”, said Vega.

“In Colombia, we often have to travel on small country roads.” (ANI)

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