Associate Professor Sergii Skakun and faculty specialist Erik Duncan recently visited the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) to participate in GICHD Innovation Conference 2023, November 14 -16 2023. The GIHCD "works towards reducing risk to communities caused by explosive ordnance, with a focus on landmines, cluster munitions and ammunition stockpiles."
Skakun and Duncan participated in the GICHD Innovation Conference with the aims of building new partnerships, better understanding the major stakeholders in humanitarian demining, and also to assess the current state of technology in the sector. They used this opportunity to present their work on machine learning using satellite data for humanitarian applications to NGOs working on demining in Ukraine.
The conference showcased the massive effort that is being put into drone-based sensors for demining, but also indicated that the large-scale satellite-based work Skakun and Duncan are leading is still an under-explored / under-utilized niche within the humanitarian demining community. This experience has given them confidence in the value of their work at UMD on the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.