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Robots To Clear Baltic Seabed Of WWII Mines
Popular Science ^ | 2/17/2010 | Stuart Fox

Posted on 02/17/2010 11:34:48 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld

In a dangerous legacy of the world's deadliest conflict, 150,000 World War Two-era sea mines litter the Baltic Sea. The danger these bombs pose to a proposed gas pipeline has prompted Russia to hire the British firm Bactec International to clear the sea of unexploded ordnance. And for Bactec, that means it's time to bring out the robots.

Bactec, which previously worked clearing mines from around the Falkland Islands, will use a specially designed robot to scour the ocean floor in search of the 70 bombs blocking the path of the pipeline. When the robot finds a mine, a surface ship releases a high-pitched wail to scare away nearby marine mammals, sets off a small explosive to scare away any fish, and then plants and detonates a small charge on the mine. Altogether, it takes Bactec two days to clear each mine.

Naturally, there are some who object to Bactec's clearance method. The Baltic Sea is already one of the world's most polluted waterways, and filling it with the detritus from exploded mines won't make it any cleaner.

To that end, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently signed a pact with the other Baltic Sea countries promising to clean up the 40,000 tons of chemical weapons, and dozens of ships, that Russia sank beneath the Baltic Sea during the Cold War. Hopefully, Russia will follow through on that pledge, and offset the new pollution resulting from the mine clearance

(Excerpt) Read more at popsci.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: bactec; balticsea; mines; robots; seamines; wwii

1 posted on 02/17/2010 11:34:48 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: sonofstrangelove
Hopefully, Russia will follow through on that pledge...

"Mr. Putin, sir, what is the Russian word for 'hope'? Sir? Sir? Please stop laughing, sir..."

2 posted on 02/17/2010 11:48:43 PM PST by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on it's own.)
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To: Talisker

Russia is not going to clean up that mess. Most likely, the may add to the mess they created.


3 posted on 02/17/2010 11:51:44 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Wernher Von Braun)
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To: sonofstrangelove

You would think the Russian subs falling to the bottom would have set most of them off...


4 posted on 02/18/2010 12:00:32 AM PST by BigCinBigD (")
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To: BigCinBigD

You need to fuze them. If they are not connected, they will not go off


5 posted on 02/18/2010 12:02:49 AM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Wernher Von Braun)
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To: BigCinBigD

Back then, it was very easy to fuse them. Now they have Permissive Action Links.


6 posted on 02/18/2010 12:03:54 AM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Wernher Von Braun)
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To: sonofstrangelove
Altogether, it takes Bactec two days to clear each mine.

The procedure for eliminating the mine once found appears quick enough. Is it an average of two days between finding each mine?

7 posted on 02/18/2010 2:05:28 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I got the impression it was a couple of days.


8 posted on 02/18/2010 2:13:33 AM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Wernher Von Braun)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I got the impression it was a couple of days.


9 posted on 02/18/2010 2:13:33 AM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Wernher Von Braun)
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To: Talisker

nadezhda is the word for Hope in Russian if I remember correctly. There was no word back in the cold war for it (when I learned it) because there really was no hope for the Russians. It was invented after the Soviet collapse I think. :)


10 posted on 02/18/2010 6:37:11 AM PST by tenger (If we don't stay on 'em, they'll get it wrong -Soucheray)
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