Mines, especially underground mines, typically contain a variety of diverse geological features. As the location and status of these can impact the safety and productivity of the mine, it is vital that geological feature extraction (a specialized type of survey) is done during mine planning and expansion, as well as during ongoing operations.
Geological features (like the earth as a whole) are not completely constant and consistent; they change over time as a result of stress and environmental factors. As a result, it is important for geological feature extraction scans to be done on a regular basis.
Manually measuring and surveying geological features, as was done in the past, is very laborious and time-consuming. Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue of mining engineers and geologists who have to regularly perform geological feature extraction exercises, as this is one of several mine surveying and monitoring tasks for which mobile 3D scanners, like the uGPS Rapid Mapper™, are ideal.
Mobile scanners have many advantages over their more conventional, tripod-mounted counterparts, including:
- There is no delay while the scanning rig (scanner, tripod, power source etc.) is assembled and then disassembled, moved and reassembled many times as the scanning crew moves through the mine.
- Because they can be used while attached to existing mine equipment like a vehicle that drives through the mine, they cause minimal to no disruption to mining activities – unlike tripod-mounted scanners that can really get in the way while being used.
- They produce accurate, valuable 3D point cloud data, while on the move, that can be used for geological feature extraction and other surveying and monitoring purposes.