In order for mines to be operated in a safe and efficient manner, it is essential that accurate surveying data is available. For some time now, satellite-based GPS systems have been used in the mapping of surface mines.
Of course, satellites are ineffective when it comes to underground mines, so a type of underground scanner that offers similar accuracy to satellite-based GPS had to be developed for underground use.
Enter the uGPS Rapid Mapper™, a mobile scanner set to have a revolutionary effect on the process of surveying underground mines. This 3D scanner has been in development since 2008 and had its origins in the academic world.
The development of the uGPS Rapid Mapper™ was initiated by Dr. Joshua Marshall, an expert in mining systems and robotics from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. His aim was to find a way to perform underground localisation with results similar in accuracy to those achieved in surface mines making use of satellite-based GPS systems.
Dr. Marshall was joined on the project by several graduate students who began the research and development of the necessary underground scanner technology. Initial results were demonstrated in underground tunnels at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.
Peck Tech Consulting Ltd., a leading mining technology supplier, saw the potential of this new technology and began the process of commercialising it in 2011, initially by developing a prototype unit.
Realising that the technology was ideally suited to rapid volumetric mapping, the Peck Tech team re-focused the technology in this direction and placed the emphasis on creating a mobile mapping solution to be used in underground mines.
The result is the uGPS Rapid Mapper™. This unique underground scanner is now commercially available locally and is sure to revolutionise surveying and 3D mapping in our mines.
See our webpage for more details on the history of uGPS Rapid Mapper™ product development.