Spectra Precision ProMark Helps Find Mines in Bosnia-Herzegovina

October 20, 2014  - By

Post and GNSS

Bosnia and Herzegovina is burdened with one of the world’s most severe land mine problems as a result of the four years of hostilities from 1992 to 1995 that left an estimated two million unexploded landmines and munitions scattered in 28,699 locations throughout the country. In one district in the northeast of the country, Posavina Without Mines (PWM), a humanitarian, non-profit NGO, is under contract with the government of the District of Brčko to warn residents of mined areas by permanently marking suspected contaminated areas, removing the lethal objects, and helping mine-affected victims.

The task of marking suspected areas to warn residents begins when Posavina Without Mines (PWM) receives mapping information from the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BH MAC), the nation’s central landmine research and coordinating authority. BH MAC gathers information by researching records of where minefields were laid, a task made difficult because many landmines were not documented during construction, the records have been lost, hidden or destroyed, or the people who recorded the locations were killed or left the country.

Posavina Without Mines uploads the data it receives from BH MAC into its Spectra Precision ProMark 800 recently purchased through a grant it received to acquire a GNSS capability. Each warning sign is positioned with the aid of the ProMark 800 and assigned a unique serial number. A list of the serial numbers, coordinates and photos of each site comprises a permanent record and database that is submitted to BH MAC.

Post and GNSS 2Posavina Without Mines had been using an older model handheld GIS GPS for the job. However, according to Ivan Markovic, a Posavina Without Mines spokesperson, “It was producing errors up to two meters necessitating follow up surveys and the involvement of supervisors to rectify the errors.” After reviewing alternative solutions to solve the problem, Posavina Without Mines contacted Gauss Geoinformation Systems.

The ProMark 800 rover and base station system was chosen for its ease-of-operation, excellent accuracy and light weight, an important feature because it is often used in difficult and virtually inaccessible terrain. “On our limited budget, we are very pleased with the accuracy and simplicity of the ProMark 800, and the high-quality training provided by Gauss,” Markovic said.

Spectra Precision has recently replaced its ProMark 800 with a new SP80 GNSS receiver, which offers superior accuracy and reliability, enhanced connectivity capabilities, including Wi-Fi, e-mailing or text messaging, and advanced anti-theft protection.

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