Honeybee-based biohybrid system for landmine detection
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Legacy landmines in post-conflict areas are a non-discriminatory lethal hazard and can still be triggered decades after the conflict has ended. Efforts to detect these explosive devices are expensive, time-consuming, and dangerous to humans and animals involved. While methods such as metal detectors and sniffer dogs have successfully been used in humanitarian demining, more tools are required for both site surveying and accurate mine detection. Honeybees have emerged in recent years as efficient bioaccumulation and biomonitoring animals. The system reported here uses two complementary landmine detection methods: passive sampling and active search. Passive sampling aims to confirm the presence of explosive materials in a mine-suspected area by the analysis of explosive material brought back to the colony on honeybee bodies returning from foraging trips. Analysis is performed by light-emitting chemical sensors detecting explosives thermally desorbed from a preconcentrator strip. The active search is intended to be able to pinpoint the place where individual landmines are most likely to be present. Used together, both methods are anticipated to be useful in an end-to-end process for area surveying, suspected hazardous area reduction, and post-clearing internal and external quality control in humanitarian demining.
Filipi , J , Stojnić , V , Muštra , M , Gillanders , R N , Jovanović , V , Gajić , S , Turnbull , G A , Babić , Z , Kezić , N & Risojević , V 2022 , ' Honeybee-based biohybrid system for landmine detection ' , Science of the Total Environment , vol. 803 , 150041 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150041
Science of the Total Environment
Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.
DescriptionThis research was funded in part by NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, project number SPS 985355, “Biological Method (Bees) for Explosive Detection”.
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