Underwater Robot to Find and Detonate WW-II Mines in Baltic Sea

Posted on 16/02/2010 by wcox in Industry

Russian gas company Gazprom wants to build an oil pipeline from Vyborg, Russia to Greifswald, Germany. The pipeline will supply 26 million homes with natural gas for heating. There's one big problem though - the pipeline runs over the Baltic Sea-floor which is still covered by up to 150,000 unexploded mines placed there during World War II. In order to allow the $10 billion USD project to continue, Bactec International has been hired to build an underwater robot to find and detonate the unexploded ordinances that lie in the path of the pipeline.

The robot, which will help perform the biggest commercial mine-clearance project ever, will locate approximately 70 mines, each filled with over 600 lbs of explosives. Once the exact location of each mine is determined, a support ship will warn any others ships in the area to leave, monitor for marine animals in the area, and the robot will maneuver a smaller (10 lbs) detonation charge near the unexploded ordinance. Once all ships, the robot, and any marine animals are clear of the area, the mine is destroyed and the robot will return to recover the remains of the bomb.

[Via Slashdot]

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