Drones with thermal imagers have learned to find dangerous butterfly mines

One of the most dire consequences of numerous regional conflicts is millions of unexploded and unexploded mines, from which tens of thousands of people die and remain crippled every year.

PFM-1 - anti-personnel high-explosive mine of pressure action (mine-butterfly), developed in the Soviet Union, is still in service with many armies of the world. It is installed by remote mining using special cassettes that are dropped from aircraft. Each cassette holds up to 1248 minutes. Due to their small size and plastic housing, they are very difficult to find. Unfortunately, very often children become victims of these mines.

A team of scientists from New York University Binghamton, led by Professors Alex Nikulin and Timothy de Smet, installed infrared cameras on inexpensive drones and launched them early in the morning over an area containing many unexploded PFM-1s.

Scientists have found that mines heat up much faster than the surrounding rocks and therefore infrared cameras can locate them with high accuracy. Now scientists have to improve this technology and create a completely autonomous system. Once detected, mines will be destroyed with SpectorDrone or Mine Kafon Drone.