3D mine scanners have made underground surveying faster and more accurate.
The development of 3D mine scanners over the last few decades has completely revolutionized the way surveying is done within underground mines located in many different countries. These laser-based scanners have made it possible for much more comprehensive and accurate data to be gathered in a shorter timeframe, and with a lot less effort than with more traditional surveying methods that required a lot of manual work.
Earlier 3D mine scanners were all of the static variety. The usual way to operate these scanners was to mount them on a tripod and then let them scan as much of the adjacent area as possible within their operating range. Once this task is completed, the scanner would be removed from the tripod and the entire setup moved further along and the process repeated.
Obviously, because a lot of setup and moving of the 3D mine scanners and related equipment is required in the process, this method of scanning a tunnel, shaft, or even the entire mine could take up a lot of time. In many mines, this is unfortunately still the way scanning data is collected, if at all.
A more recent development, though, has seen many mines around the world drastically cut the amount of time required to perform scanning exercises. This improvement in efficiency has been made possible by the introduction of mobile 3D mine scanners; for example, the industry-leading uGPS Rapid Mapper™.
This mobile 3D mine scanner can accurately scan on-the-fly while attached to a mine vehicle (e.g. a utility vehicle) that is being driven through the mine at normal operating speeds. This significantly decreases the time it takes to complete the gathering of scan data.