What are our
This NATO SPS Multi-Year Project builds upon the previous SPS project ‘Holographic and Impulse Subsurface Radar for Landmine and IED Detection (U-GO 1st)’, which developed a remotely operable, multi-sensor, robotic device for the detection of land mines, unexploded ordnances (UXOs), and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The first phase of the UGO-1st project was launched in 2015, and you have recently begun a follow-up project. What are some of the key lessons learned from UGO-1st that you are bringing forward into this new project?
The theme of innovation in safety for mine clearance operations was the point of attraction for all team members and all of them personally contributed to achieving this goal. The other important lesson was the management of the project considering the multicultural aspects which are the added value to build collaboration between scientists. Both lessons learned are useful for the present project where significant progress in multisensors and cooperative robots will be implemented with a larger number of international teams with different skills in electronics, robotics, electromagnetism, computer science and applied geophysics.
What was one of the biggest challenges or obstacles that you had to overcome while working on this project?
The most important challenge was certainly that of integrating all the components of the project carried out in different countries into a robotic system operating on natural soil. For example, the problem of importing and exporting developed devices and instruments, has limited the time available to test the single devices and the whole system.
How do you imagine UGO-1st could be used in the future? Who could benefit from it, and in which contexts?
The concept of UGO-1st is now developed for different cooperating robots, completely controlled remotely with an easy human computer interface. This allows to be demonstrated for military and civilian applications to detect subsurface objects or structures with very low set-up time. This is a key advantage respect to the common hand-held ground penetrating radar or metal detectors. There are many consolidated areas also for civilian use, like the floors, roads, pavements inspection, indoor or outdoor. Then UGO-1st will be also evaluated as spin-off technology.
What is the impact of your project on security and NATO’s work with partner countries?
The sharing of technological solutions for the deminng problem with partner countries is one of the most important impact of this project. This impact is also revealed by the commitment of end-users operating in post-conflict countries regarding the explosive and threats detection / removal operations. The collaborations between young scientists belonging to different countries improves the capability of dialogue and comparisons of the research methods and proposed solutions. The networking is facilitated by intensive and regular use of group meeting in teleconference and in presence (before COVID-19).