Mobile Underground SurveyWe recently came across an interesting publication about high precision surveying and geomatics (the gathering, storing, processing, and delivery of geographic, or spatially referenced, information). The book, Precision Surveying: The Principles and Geomatics Practice, was written by John Olusegun Ogundare, Instructor of Geomatics Technology at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Canada, and a leading expert in his field.

Although the subject matter is mostly academic in nature, some of the principles and comments in the book are relevant in the context of using mobile underground survey devices to generate geomatic data.

For example, in Chapter 13, titled Tunneling Surveys, Dr. Ogundare says:

“Underground survey is different from surveying on the surface. It is essentially similar to three-dimensional surveys on the surface in that the purpose is usually to obtain the horizontal as well as vertical coordinates of points underground.”

Unfortunately, though, the similarities lead some manufacturers to believe that simply adapting above-ground equipment for use in static or mobile underground survey applications is sufficient. Doing this neglects the fact that underground conditions are fundamentally different from above-ground operations.

Further on in this chapter, Dr. Ogundare points out some of the specific challenges that are experienced when performing underground surveys. We will not go into too much detail here, but some of the factors mentioned are:

  • High levels of heat, dust and humidity
  • Steep slopes and inclines
  • Non-uniform rock faces
  • Inaccessible areas

With these conditions in mind, it makes sense that the equipment used underground is purpose-built for this application.

The uGPS Rapid Mapper™ is an easy-to-use, robust, low-maintenance 3D scanner that was specifically developed for use in mobile underground survey projects. This scanner can be easily attached to a variety of vehicles or other equipment already in use underground, e.g. an ATV (for scanning tunnels) or a cage (for scanning shafts), and can be operated by existing personnel with minimal instruction and training.

Click here for more information about the uGPS Rapid Mapper™.