3D mobile mine scanning devices are ideally suited to rapid scanning of existing mine tunnels. In this application, they are usually attached to an ATV or other vehicle already in use within the underground mine.
However, they can also be attached to many different types of vehicles, giving them fantastic versatility.
An application that will most likely be explored quite a lot in the near future is the use of mobile mine scanners in tandem with unmanned vehicles. This combination could be successfully used for surveying and exploring new or unsafe areas of a mine without the need to risk the lives of mine employees.
If mounted to a small, remotely-controlled vehicle, mobile mine scanners can even be sent into areas of the mine in which space is limited and it would not be feasible for a person to enter and perform the scanning.
Another possible way in which mobile mine scanners could be used in the future is by being attached to an unmanned boring machine. As the use of these machines becomes more common in some mining environments, incorporating a mobile scanner adds a new dimension.
As the borer digs into new areas of the mine, the attached scanner creates a series of data point clouds that can be used by mine engineers to monitor the area being mined, as well as accurately determine the volume of drift that is being removed.
Whatever the future holds for underground mining in general and mine scanning in particular, 3D mobile mine scanners like the uGPS Rapid Mapper™ are sure to be an important part of the development process.