In recent years, LiDAR scanners have started to become a relatively common sight inside underground mines. The development of this scanning technology has made it easier for surveyors and engineers to collect data about the inside of a mine for planning, production or safety purposes.
The biggest problem with conventional (often tripod-mounted) LiDAR scanners is the time it takes to move and set them up. This makes scanning a large area in an underground mine very tedious and time-consuming.
The key advantage the uGPS Rapid Mapper™ has over stationary LiDAR scanners is that it is mobile and can be mounted on vehicles already used in the mine. This allows for underground mobile scanning to be performed up to 50 times faster than is the norm with stationary scanners.
The only limitation is how fast the vehicle can be safely operated, although if the vehicle is moving too fast, data will be collected very quickly and the point density of the scan will be lower.
However, at the recommended speed of 5-10 km/h (in most applications), the volumetric accuracy of underground mobile scanning has been shown to be within approximately 0.5% of volume estimates from much-slower conventional scans.
Underground mobile scanning allows for kilometres of drift to be scanned in a very short space of time, increasing efficiency and reducing manpower requirements and cost.
To add to its usefulness and versatility, the uGPS Rapid Mapper™ is able to scan in both open- and closed-loop (i.e., georeferenced) operating modes, making it ideal for a variety of different underground scanning applications.