With the use of rollers, tillers and chain flails, the focus of minefield clearance has shifted since the early 1980’s from military to humanitarian demining. These machines can clear 200–300 mm of soil depending on the speed of the vehicle and its configuration, the soil type and the terrain. As seen in Figure 1, a 200 mm depth can be cleared if the vehicle operates at 0.5 kph. Unfortunately, heavy machines are difficult to operate at these slow speeds unless large amounts of power are available to run and rotate the flails.1 Moreover, recent literature cites the use of modern technology in demining (e.g., infrared imaging, ground penetration radar, thermal neutron activation and X-ray tomography). Mechanical machines, however, are still considered the safest tool for clearing minefields.
"Flail Technology in Demining,"
Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction: Vol. 20
, Article 15.
Available at: http://commons.lib.jmu.edu/cisr-journal/vol20/iss2/15