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LOTUS Project

The LOTUS System on the testing ground

Project title: LOTUS Project - Light Ordnance detection by Tele-operated Unmanned System

Project type: The LOTUS project is a European Commission funded research project (EU/Esprit/29812) from 1999-2002

Organisations involved: DEMIRA e.V., EMRAN, Institut Dr. Foerster, TNO D&S

Technologies involved:  Thermal Infrared, Ground Penetrating Radar, Enhanced Metal Detector, Robotics and tele-operated platforms, Data Fusion, Multi-Sensor Vehicle Platforms

Project description:

Safety is crucial in demining operations. Accidents are a common occurrence, and there is a pressing need to enhance the safety of the mine clearance personnel.

In order to improve the safety and efficiency of demining projects, the LOTUS project was started and tasked with the development of a multi sensor detection system integrated on a robotic remote controlled vehicle.

The LOTUS system searches the ground with a metal detector, an infrared camera and a ground penetrating radar. The data is analysed in real-time. As the vehicle moves forward, the position of detected targets are marked and stored as a data point. This allows for more extensive evaluation off-line between the real-time searches and any subsequent mine clearance operation.

In the trial in Bosnia and Herzegovina, organised by DEMIRA, the vehicle followed the test lanes and marked detected mines. By combining the output from different sensors, the false alarm rate decreased significantly and the waste of demining resources was reduced dramatically.