Quality and equipment considerations in humanitarian demining
Simple arguments show that the commonly adopted UN requirement (99,6%) of mine clearance is too low for realistic situations if mines in a cleared region shall not be the leading cause of death also after demining. It is argued that no single demining tool can provide the required quality of clearance. Rather, several different tools that are independent in a statistical sense should be used in a consecutive fushion on the same area. For such tools, the total clearance rate increases exponentially with number of tools employed, while operating costs increase in an additive fashion only. R & D efforts in humanitarian demining should therefore focus on finding techniques that are (essentially) independent of others in a statistical sense and of moderate quality (80- 90% clearance), consistent with reasonable capital and operating costs.