HALO utilises dual-sensor detector

The Handheld Stand-off Mine Detection System, known as HSTAMIDS, is a dual-sensor mine detector developed specifically for the U.S. military by L-3 Communications Cyterra Corporation.

HSTAMIDS combines advanced metal detector and ground-penetrating radar technologies, allowing a trained user to discriminate between metal debris (clutter) and metal that has associated mass (a possible mine).

Early deployment of HSTAMIDS was restricted to U.S. military operations, with some limited exposure to humanitarian demining organisations. However in 2006, having realised the potential of dual-sensor technology in day to day mine clearance operations, HALO signed up for a lead role in support of the U.S. Humanitarian Demining Research & Development Program’s evaluation of HSTAMIDS.

The subsequent HSTAMIDS Operational Field Evaluation conducted in Cambodia made significant strides: in proving the technology in dense mine concentrations, with minimum metal mines, and with high metal contamination and in various types of soil; in entrusting the tool in the hands of locally employed deminers who now train and supervise themselves; and in the development of Standard Operating Procedures which have made possible the productivity increases which were previously just high hopes.

The statistics shown are entirely associated with HSTAMIDS (March 2006 – June 2008), and these accomplishments are only a small portion of HALO’s overall contribution to resolving the mines problem in Cambodia.

Total Area Cleared: 604,375 m²
Total Detections: 1,423,902
Total Mines Found: 5,610
2008 Clutter Rejection Rate: 96.5 %

The Cambodia evaluation provides HALO with 12 HSTAMIDS units, but in addition HALO has subsequently procured a further 50 units for deployment globally. Significantly HALO is the only demining agency licensed by the U.S. Department of State to do so. Immediate use is being made of these detectors to tackle minimum metal anti-tank mines in Afghanistan. Similar plans are in motion for clearing roads in Angola.