Harnessing drones, geophysics and artificial intelligence to root out land mines


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(PHYS ORG) Armed with a newly minted undergraduate degree in geology, Jasper Baur is in the mining business. Not those mines where we extract metals or minerals; the kind that kill and maim thousands of people every year. Baur and colleagues are trying to show that drone-born geophysical sensors already used in fields such as exploration geology, volcanology and archaeology may be applied to more efficiently spot and eliminate these deadly hazards.

As a freshman at upstate New York's Binghamton University in 2016, Baur started working with two geophysics professors, Alex Nikulin and Timothy de Smet, to look into employing instrument-equipped drones to speed the slow, hazardous task of finding land mines. Baur stuck with the research all the way through college; now a grad student in volcanology at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, he is still pursuing it.

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Published: Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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