Knowing what is going on inside all shafts and tunnels is a vital part of an underground mining engineer’s job. In the past, this was often done by performing periodic surveys that involved a lot of manual work and rudimentary equipment, at least by modern technology standards.
More recently, using laser-based 3D mine scanners has become the norm. At first, these were generally static scanners that were placed on a tripod or fixed to a tunnel wall or roof. After scanning the immediate surroundings, the whole setup has to be disassembled, moved a short distance and reassembled so that scanning can continue. Obviously, this can be a very time-consuming and labour-intensive process.
However, as the relevant technology developed further, a newer, more useful type of device emerged, the mobile 3D mine scanner. The uGPS Rapid Mapper™ is the leader in this field and is characterized by its ease of use, robustness, minimal maintenance and training requirements, and the fact that it can generate accurate 3D point cloud data on the fly; for example, by being mounted on a survey vehicle that is driven through the mine at normal operating speed.
Using a mobile 3D mine scanner opens up a whole new world of data collection and use within your underground mine. Having an accurate 3D point cloud model of the interior of the mine allows you to make timely and informed engineering decisions, based on accurate data rather than guesswork.
Some of the benefits of using a mobile 3D Mine Scanner in your underground mine are:
- Existing workings can be safely scanned – In the case of risky or unsupported areas, the uGPS Rapid Mapper™ can be mounted on a remote-controlled vehicle, eliminating the need for human exposure.
- Ramps, drifts, and stopes can be accurately geospatially referenced.
- Precise volumetric calculations of existing underground workings can be performed.
- The location of underground assets and equipment can be accurately determined.
- Very little intrusion and disruption – Little or no production downtime in any area of the mine, no tripods to get in the way or become damaged.