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People actually running demining projects offer a different perspective than far-away international organisations. While they await the long-term results of various R&D projects, near-term incremental improvements resulting in more mines cleared per week of work are welcome as well.

At the top of the wish list is a hand-held mine detector which finds all the mines, metallic and minimum metal, in the ground and has a false alarm rate dramatically lower than existing metal detectors. Such a detector would have to be suited to use in field conditions. A detector which only reduced the false alarm rate to 10 false detections per mine located would improve the productivity of clearing operations by a factor of thirty to one hundred for metallic mines and by a factor of thousands for nonmetallic mines, where exhaustive probing is now required.

Such a hand-held detector could be integrated into existing demining operations without extensive training, and would have an immediate payoff.