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Mozambique Development

The last week of March saw the Mineseeker Operations management team in Mozambique for meetings with high-level ministers and dignitaries for a fact finding mission and to present the new Mineseeker landmine detection technology.

Mike Kendrick, Ed Cross, Mark Dorey and Kai Von Pannier of Mineseeker travelled to the Inhambane Province of Mozambique which is  an area highly impacted by landmines. After meeting with the Governor of Imhambane’s office they headed to the capital of Maputo. While travelling on the main road, they were greeted by the sight of landmine demarcation tape right next to the side of the road. This land  is populated by subsistence farmers a mere 30km outside of the town Maxixe,  in fact a sugar cane plantation was adjacent to the cordoned area.

“This just goes to show the extent of the problem here in Mozambique” says Ed Cross (CEO Mineseeker Operations). “There is still land right in the middle of populated areas that contain landmines and UXO. This incident was not 3 metres off the main national road through Mozambique.”

Edward Cross, CEO

The team also did presentations to the Institute of Demining where they were well received and discussions were held on developing a roadmap for the future deployment of the Mineseeker technology in Mozambique.

Mineseeker’s unique value proposition of not only detecting landmines, but then enabling the people affected to develop the released land agriculturally  and  commercially was of particular interest to the Mozambican authorities as well as corporate and private investors.

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Aviation Expert Joins Landmine Detection Team

September 30, 2010

Landmine detection specialists Mineseeker Operations have recruited an aviation expert to join their UK management team.

Former Senior RAF Test Pilot Richard Trueman has been appointed Operations Director for the company, which is poised to demonstrate a ground-breaking landmine detection system in Croatia shortly.

Richard’s operational experience in the RAF was in the support helicopter role flying the Puma helicopter including extensive night vision goggle operations and where he received a commendation for a night rescue mission.

He was subsequently a test pilot with the UK Flight Test centre at Boscombe Down flying Merlin, Chinook, Sea King, Lynx, Puma and Bell412 aircraft.

After leaving the RAF and qualifying with a UK Airline Transport Pilots Licence for helicopters, Richard joined McAlpine Helicopters (now Eurocopter UK) as the deputy chief test pilot working on Ec120, Ec135, As350 and As355 helicopters. He conducted production and modification flight testing of many Eurocopter aircraft in the UK, including police and air ambulance helicopters.

Subsequent roles included as a senior consultant for a corporate risk assessor involved in corporate flight safety, due diligence and business development, and as a senior test pilot for Agustawestland. During this position Richard was responsible for the operation of an 18 month multi-site overseas trial tasked to develop the engines and cockpit of the AW101 helicopter and he also acted as a pilot advisor to Agustawestland engineers developing rotorcraft controls and cockpits. He also conducted flight testing of the Puma, Lynx and Wildcat helicopters.

“Richard’s experience of the aviation industry speaks for itself,” said Mineseeker Operations Executive Chairman Mike Kendrick.

“Mineseeker’s unique ground penetrating radar system will primarily be deployed on Robinson 44 helicopters and Richard’s considerable expertise in leading edge rotary wing aircraft and their associated equipment will prove invaluable to us – we’re delighted to have him on board, especially as he joins us at a crucial time prior to our first international demonstration of the Mineseeker system.”

Richard, who has relocated to south Shropshire with his family, added: “It’s great to be a part of the Mineseeker Operations team, doing something extremely positive to help rid the world of a problem that has for many years maimed and killed innocent people”.

“I’m extremely pleased that I can add my experience within the aviation industry to this massively worthwhile enterprise.”

Richard Trueman

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Mineseeker Operations to Attend Farnborough Air Show

July 15, 2010

Following a successful business development visit to Eurosatory in Paris in June, Mineseeker  CEO Edward Cross shall be attending the Farnborough Air Show which starts on 19th July.  Farnborough Air Show attracts thousands of exhibitors and visitors from the private, commercial, civil and military aerospace sectors, and is the premier European showcase for emerging technologies.

“Some excellent business and partner opportunities were discovered at Eurosatory in Paris” said Edward Cross, “and Farnborough is the perfect forum to progress these.  Attending Farnborough not only allows Mineseeker Operations to stay right up to date with current and future technology, but it also gives us the opportunity to network and develop business strategies with potential customers and partners”.

Edward Cross has a brief to foster relationships with companies at the forefront of aerial systems innovation, in order to keep Mineseeker Operations at the leading edge of industry developments, with particular emphasis on opportunities to work with remotely operated aircraft and UAVs. He is also holding a watching brief for Quasar on potential breakthrough products in the aerial- and ground-based surveillance market.

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Mineseeker Announces ‘Total Picture’ Technology

July 12, 2010

Mineseeker Operations has announced detailed information about the ground-breaking technology it is to implement shortly in a concerted effort to rid war-torn areas globally of landmines.

The existing Mineseeker GPSAR compact portable sensor can record data from more than 500 acres per hour, utilising a carrier-phase differential GPS (global position system) for precise geo-positioning. The radar, developed by a USA supplier and extensively tested, has been enhanced by the addition of new Multi Spectral Imaging (MSI) technology developed by a UK company. This highly sophisticated visual thermal, infra-red and geo-referenced imaging system will be fused with the radar imagery to provide a complete picture of ground surveyed from the air.

The Multi Spectral Imaging (MSI) Process

Mineseeker will utilise helicopters and light aircraft to operate the systems in the field.

Edward Cross, CEO of Mineseeker Operations said “The GPSAR will show surface and sub-surface indications, with a ground breaking geo-referenced visual mosaic layer giving a detailed view of the area and the thermal image and infra-red layers will provide crucial additional information, allowing end users to have access to the maximum amount of essential information.’’

“The combination of such advanced and accurate systems will, for the first time, provide a total picture of landmine sites and enable highly effective mapping which will, in turn, support rapid mine clearance efforts.’’

“Mineseeker’s approach heralds a new era in landmine clearance, one in which areas riddled with mines and other unexploded ordnance will be subject to complete scrutiny and subsequently cleared for release to agricultural purposes.’’

“For the people living in countries affected by the landmine scourge, this is life-changing.”

Mineseeker Operations is planning to demonstrate the combined GPSAR and Multi Spectral Imaging system in Croatia.

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Mineseeker Appoints New Global Strategic Team

July 12, 2010

Mineseeker Operations has appointed two new key members within its strategic management team.

Chief Executive Edward Cross and Commercial Director Mark Dorey will be at the forefront of Mineseeker Operations’ global business development.

“We are planning definitive demonstrations of the unique Mineseeker landmine detection technology, which will save thousands of lives and return war-torn land to much-needed agricultural use,” said Mineseeker Operations Executive Chairman Mike Kendrick.

“Mineseeker will meet humanitarian needs across the world and to this end we are delighted to have made such significant appointments – it is these people who will ensure we offer our customers the very best landmine detection programmes available.”

“I am delighted that Edward has joined us as Chief Executive Officer, as he brings a superb combination of commercial and operational expertise,” said Mike Kendrick.

“Not only has he secured numerous multi-million pound contracts for previous companies, but he has also deployed and managed complex operations in remote, extreme and post-conflict environments in Europe, India, the Middle and Far East and many African countries.”

Edward Cross, who lives in Pershore, Worcestershire, trained as a British Army officer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the Staffordshire Regiment and was posted on operational tour, during which he led counter-insurgency operations in hostile environments.

On leaving the army, Edward pursued a successful sales and business development career in the IT industry, before joining a leading commercial mine clearance and oil services company as head of business development.

He then took a new mine clearance company to market and within six months the company had secured its first contract, with seismic survey company Western Geco, followed by a multi-million pound contract with the United Nations. During the time Edward was in charge, the company doubled revenue year on year for four successive years.

Mark Dorey, from Market Drayton, Shropshire, graduated from the London School of Economics with a BSc in Economics and Finance and subsequently trained as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers).

He worked as Group Financial Controller for a listed marketing services group, before moving to PepsiCo as an international accountant working in both Spain and Turkey.

Mark joined the Virgin Group where he worked with Mike Kendrick for almost 10 years, holding a number of directorships within Virgin’s aerial advertising and marketing services division and acting as Chief Operating Officer of The Lightship Group, managing the largest fleet of commercial airships ever operated.

During his time at Virgin, Mark negotiated a number of multi-million dollar, international contracts with blue chip clients such as Goodyear, Sanyo and Blockbuster Entertainment as well as setting up businesses in Singapore and Brazil. He was also a founding director of Mineseeker and involved in negotiating the original agreements with DERA (now QinetiQ).

“Mark has extensive international business experience and an ability to deliver commercial solutions in complex environments,” commented Mike Kendrick. “I am delighted to be working with him again.”

Mineseeker Operations plans to use a unique ground-penetrating radar system that can detect landmines from an aerial platform – a small plane or helicopter – combined with a GPS and video mosaic system that will accurately map minefields and produce detailed photographic images of affected areas.
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Mineseeker Operations Chief Executive Edward Cross and Commercial Director Mark Dorey

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IAF Press Release 05-2009

The MineSeeker Foundation and the International Astronautical Federation announce a collaborative effort in the field of Landmine Stand-off detection

During the 60th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) held in Daejeon, Korea, the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and the Mineseeker Foundation announced a collaborative effort in the field of landmine stand-off detection using both Space and Airborne systems integrating remote-sensing, telecommunication and geo-localisation technologies.

A preliminary concept of this integrated application was elaborated by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), in collaboration with the Mineseeker Foundation (MF). The IAF has contacted several potential partners among the Federation member organisations. It is now important to involve all relevant expertise to elaborate the system and thoroughly assess its feasibility, on both a technical and an economic standpoint. At last the study will pave the way to subsequent phases of development, prototyping and testing, prior to commercially launching the service. The feasibility study is expected to last about five months, starting in January 2010. A first operational commercial service is planned by August 2011. An enhanced service enabling reliable detection of individual mines is expected to be mature enough for operations by mid-2013.

Landmines still kill or maim civilians every day, even long after conflicts are over. Each year these weapons claim between 15,000 and 20,000 new victims. Because resources (arable land, infrastructure, water, etc.) located within areas suspected of mine contamination cannot be exploited, landmines dramatically hinder the recovery of economies wounded by a conflict. At the current rate, and assuming no additional mines are laid from now on, the UN estimates that it will take 600 years to find and clear the 100 million landmines around the world. Strikingly, a large fraction of suspected lands investigated by traditional methods prove mine free. In other words, the scarce resources of mine action are expended on checking sound land instead of clearing contaminated land. A means to reliably discriminate between mine-contaminated zones and mine-free zones is critically needed. Stand-off detection can be immensely useful to this purpose.

For further information please contact: Philippe Willekens, International Astronautical Federation, 94 bis, Avenue de Suffren 75015 Paris, France.
Tel: +33 1 45 67 42 60

*About the International Astronautical Federation*
The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) is an international non-governmental and non-profit organisation, founded in 1951.

The IAF is composed of space agencies, space companies, societies, associations and institutes. There are currently over 200 members in 47 countries.

The Federation encourages the advancement of knowledge about space and the development and application of space assets for the benefit of humanity. It plays an important role in disseminating information, and in providing a significant worldwide network of experts in the development and utilisation of space.

The IAF organises seminars, symposia and events throughout the year. The focus of activities during 2009 is the management of climate change. The most visible product of the IAF is the International Astronautical Congress (IAC).

IAC 2009 gathered more than 4000 space professionals in Daejeon, Republic of Korea between 12-16 October 2009. The IAC exhibition this year dedicated a special focus on Small and Medium companies working in the space field.

Further information can be found on the IAF website at
http://www.iafastro.org

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