Project PERUN Zagreb

Project PERUN praised by Croatian government official

Project PERUN, based at the University of Zagreb in Croatia, was recently honoured with a visit from the acting director of Croatia’s Office of Mine Action, Mr. Hrvoje Debač (pictured right).

Mr Debač was there to observe first-hand the recent progress of the Find A Better Way-funded project, which is researching improvements in metal detector design.

Project PERUN was named after Perun, the high god of the ancient Slavic pantheon. In Slavic mythology Perun is represented as an eagle who looks down on the world from above, and who battles the watery, underground god Veles.

Like its namesake, Project PERUN is also battling a watery, underground menace: non-cooperative soil. Standard metal detectors in use by most deminers struggle to cope with wet soil, or soil that is especially rich in iron or other minerals. In the same way that a radio signal can be distorted by heavy rain or nearby metal objects, non-cooperative soil plays havoc with the electromagnetic signals that metal detectors use to find landmines.

Project PERUN has developed a sensor that detects difficult soil conditions in real time, and then using a software algorithm, compensates for any distortion caused by water or minerals.

Project lead Professor Vedran Bilas (pictured left) and his team have twice held joint tests with the Project SEMIS team from The University of Manchester. Using the prototype detector the Project SEMIS team have built at the landmine testing facility in Benkovac, Croatia, they were able to validate their work so far.

Mr Debač was certainly impressed by what he observed at the Project PERUN lab. Following his visit the Office of Mine Action tweeted, “The project financed by Find A Better Way is confirmation of the exceptional quality of Croatian scientists.”