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Given the high-bandwidth nature of this conference, and the parallel processing power in this room, I'm going to try to downlink the essentials of a 3 to 4 day workshop on humanitarian landmine clearance in about 30 minutes.

I'll then turn the floor over to Steven Azevedo of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, who will describe the basics of Ground Penetrating Radar, one of the most promising detection technologies, which Livermore's micropower radar has made an accessible component deployable for numerous applications. Finally, I hope we'll have time for questions, answers, and comments to get people thinking about approaches to the myriads of problems posed in ridding the world of this menace.

One often hears about “the landmine problem”, and it's easy to conclude we're seeking “a solution to the problem”. In reality, humanitarian demining is a complex of interrelated problems. Demining isn't like tracking down and fixing a thorny bug—it's more like the multi-year campaign involved in stabilising a large operating system. You work on the easy and obvious stuff first, then try to understand the subtler problems as you grope toward the goal. Still, incremental improvements are worthwhile and, in this case, are measured not in reduced customer irritation but limbs and lives not lost.