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APOPO test site in Tanzania

Magadu landmine detection testing facility

Name: Magadu landmine detection testing facility
Short description: 16.1 hectares of tropical test fields on laterite soils; containing 478 testboxes of 100 sqm each; twenty test lanes and 43200 sqm of REST-test field; in total containing 979 mines and UXO of 14 different types.



Mechanical Equipment

Detector / Sensor

Protection Equipment



- Any detector
- Animal (rats)

Point of contact:

Name: Bart Weetjens

Sokoine University of Agriculture
PO Box 3078

Groenenborgerlaan 171
B-2020 Antwerpen

Function: Director
Phone / Fax: Tel: +255 232 600 635
Fax: +255 232 600 636

General information:

Indoor / outdoor: Outdoor area including shaded zones
Test area (m2): 161.000 sqm
Explosive allowed: Yes: TNT, DNT, Comp B, RDX and Tetryl available

Transport to and from Dar Es Salaam airport (3h drive); town (15 min); office space; phone-fax-network; explosives laboratory; mechanical workshop

Working office:

Size (m2)

Heating / Cooling

Phone / Fax

Internet access

(for visiting users)





Particular constraints

Working hours: No constraints
Entrance requirements: Visa can be purchased upon arrival (50 USD)
Remarks: Import and clearing of equipment occurs via APOPO. Contact office for details


Mechanical workshop: Available
Remarks: All services available via APOPO
Explosive allowed:


Yes Fragmentation: Yes
24h security provided by subcontracted security firm
Services supplied: Electricity Fuel Water Compressed air


Wide range of restaurants and foodstalls at 15 min drive
Lunch provided by APOPO
Distance (km):


Hotel: 5 km

Railway station: 5 km

Airport: 200km 3h drive

Hotels ranging from 15 to 50 USD


The Magadu test facility is located near Morogoro town, Tanzania. The field has been established in the immediate vicinity of the university campus and a military plant.

The testing facility consists of:

  • 322 testboxes (100sqm) of 5m x 20m, containing 0 to 4 mines each, and containing 0-4 dummy objects.
  • 156 testboxes (100sqm) of 10m x 10m, containing 0 to 4 mines each.
    ( 32 testboxes of 15sqm each containing plastic bags with military grade TNT, and containing 2 dummy plastic bags at different depths).
  • 5 stretches of 3m x 60m, containing 19 mines of different types, surface laid.
  • 4 stretches of 3m x 60m, containing no mines, but used for applying TNT sprays for rat training purposes.
  • 11 stretches of 5m x 24m, containing 7 mines of different types each.
  • REST facility, low density mined area, existing of 27 boxes (40m x 40m), divided in 5m grid (64 x 5m x 5m boxes). 20 out of the 27 boxes will contain 1 landmine, placed in one of the central 5m by 5m boxes.

    The positions of the landmine samples and of the plastic sachets containing the explosives were carefully mapped. The detonation mechanisms of all the laid landmines were removed, and their positions were exactly indicated through coloured poles at the perpendicular sides of each testplot. The types of mines and their co-ordinates were registered, together with the depth of placement. Poles can easily be removed to allow blind testing of sensor technologies.

    Types of mines and UXO available:

    - PMN Russian AP
    - Type 58 Chinese PMN copy AP
    - R2M2 South African AP (planned but not avialable yet)
    - PMD-6 Wooden box Russian AP
    - Mine Nr 4 Israeli plastic AP
    - M14 American AP

    - T59 Direct Action Chinese AT
    - T59 Booby Trap Chinese AT
    - TM57 Direct action Russian AT
    - TM57 Booby Trap Russian AT
    - MK5 British AT
    - PMR 1 Yugoslav stake mine FR
    - T59 Chinese stake mine FR
    - M16 American bounding FR
    - 60mm Chinese Mortar UXO

    Dummy targets:

    A variety of 20 dummy targets is burried in part of the testboxes. Dummies are mapped and indicated in the field in a similar way as the landmines. Dummy objects:

    - plastic bags,
    - tin cans,
    - washing powder,
    - aluminium foil,
    - old clothes,
    - cigarette butts,
    - bottle caps,
    - spices,
    - carrion,
    - coffee,
    - diesel,
    - used oil filters,
    - rubber,
    - burnt waste,
    - kitchen waste,
    - batteries,
    - galvanised metal sheet,
    - glass,
    - plastic containers,
    - treated wooden pole chops.


    The location of the minefield was chosen at a safe distance from common public used roads - in the vicinity of a military plant. The simulated minefield facility is completely fenced with intertwine fencing wire of 1.8 m high. Outside the fenced area, a firelane of 10 meters wide was created around the whole minefield. There are two central watchtowers - with 24 hours permanence by armed security guards.

    Supporting equipment:

    The Magadu test facility is equipped with a weather station which registers permanently most weather parameters. The station features a solar radiation meter and a soil moisture content probe.

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