In 2013, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) participated as the lead observer in the Geomine demonstration test in Wittstock, Germany.
The technology demonstrated focuses on reducing suspect hazardous areas (SHA) based on the spectral identification and characterisation of the vegetation of the SHA. According to UN estimates, approximately 80 per cent of all land designated a SHA is in fact free from landmines. Identifying areas that are free from mines is the underlying concept of the Geomine tool.
TNT (Trinitrotoluene) is the most commonly used explosive in military and industrial applications. It is used in landmines, bombs, shells, grenades and many other explosive devices. The technology relies on this fact. TNT consists of nitrogen, and when ERW are buried in the ground, they release small amounts of nitrogen which is then absorbed into the ground and metabolised by the surrounding vegetation. Under certain conditions, still to be fully investigated, this extra amount of nitrogen could produce changes in the vegetation spectral response. If these changes are detectable and can be directly and unequivocally attributed to TNT contamination, then high-resolution hyperspectral remote sensing could be considered a suitable technique for supporting SHA’s reduction