Due to their nature and the way in which they are constructed, underground mines are heavily impacted by, and can have an impact on, geological features. When shafts are sunk or tunnels bored, it is important that mine engineers are constantly aware of the status of all geological features in the vicinity.
The same holds true during ongoing mining operations. It is important to constantly keep tabs on what impact geological features are having on the mine, and what impact, if any, the mine is having on the topography inside the mine and nearby.
Status changes especially must be monitored as these could be signaling an impending collapse, rock or ground fall, or other catastrophic event that could potentially endanger mine personnel, damage equipment and disrupt production.
Regularly gathering data about the inside of the mine in the form of geological feature extraction is vital. In recent years, there has been increasing adoption of the practice of mobile geological feature extraction rather than gathering this data in a static manner.
For this type of exercise, mobile 3D laser (LiDAR) scanners are an invaluable tool, as they can rapidly gather and present data about geological features that intrude into the mine.
When it comes to mobile geological feature extraction, the uGPS Rapid Mapper™ stands out as the leader in its class. This easy-to-use mobile 3D scanner is specifically built for underground mining applications and is characterized by its ease of use and the speed at which it can gather data.
Unlike tripod-mounted devices, the uGPS Rapid Mapper™ can perform mobile geological feature extraction scans on the move. Usually, this is achieved by attaching the scanner to a mine vehicle (e.g. an ATV) that drives through the mine. As it moves through different areas, the uGPS Rapid Mapper™ assembles accurate 3D point cloud data that is readily available for interpretation and use.
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