Field Evaluation of the Mine Hammer: A Landmine Neutralization Mechanism 2005-01-3541
An antipersonnel landmine neutralizing mechanism, called the Mine Hammer, was designed with a prototype developed by the Agriculture and Bioresource Engineering Department, University of Saskatchewan and Defence Research and Development Canada -- Suffield. The Mine Hammer technology combined flail mechanisms and agriculture tillage interaction mechanics. The prototype was retrofitted to be powered by a 78.4 kW tractor and was field evaluated in August 2002. The test plots represented gravel road, prairie clay soil with stubble and full stand of Kochia weed for vegetation and simulated tree stump terrains. Dummy or mechanical replicas of antipersonnel landmines were placed at 0, 25, 50, 100 and 200mm depths. The Mine Hammer triggered and/or fragmented the replica landmines. Its mechanical neutralization effectiveness over the five test plots was 97%. The Mine Hammer produced a two layer overburden consisting of a loose till above a dense, compact soil layer. Non-neutralized mine replicas were buried within the compact layer and were not triggered when subjected to loads from human footsteps, jumping and stomping.