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Satellite InSAR is used at underground mining operations to monitor surface infrastructure, access shafts, and neighbouring areas of concern. Construction of underground mining operations usually includes an access portal, along with shafts for extracting the mined ore, ventilation, and more.
Mine owners and operators are trusted to monitor the safety of personnel and machinery both above and below the surface. With the right parameters, InSAR is capable of measuring the surface expression of underground mining operations. At the same time, InSAR can monitor the above-ground assets such as offices, depots, crushers, smelters, and access roads to and from the mine. InSAR’s large spatial coverage means surface and underground operations can be remotely monitored on an ongoing basis.
While the surface footprint of an underground mining operation can be small, there are still many critical assets to monitor. These can include access roads for mining operations in remote locations, water storage, communications, mine offices, and high-value assets such as smelters, crushers, and conveyors. Satellite remote monitoring can also aid in planning mining developments for underground mining operations such as block caving.
Conventional monitoring techniques at underground mining facilities are usually focused on underground activities which can leave above-ground assets unobserved and unprotected. InSAR offers the opportunity to monitor, with high precision, the surface expression and all above-ground infrastructure. Geohazard risk monitoring is crucial at these locations since any displacement that puts these areas at risk can threaten operations and worker safety.
Along with directly measuring ground displacement, InSAR complements existing monitoring systems such as IPIs, piezometers, and others.
Every mine is unique, as should be a monitoring plan. Each of 3vG’s InSAR monitoring programs is customized to fit the monitoring needs of our customers. This includes choosing the most suitable satellite parameters, reporting frequency, and budget, all while maintaining the highest precision and resolution possible. In addition, multiple satellite footprints can be combined to form complete coverage over both east and west-facing slopes; in turn removing blind spots, increasing accuracy, densifying time series, and providing displacement direction information.
While mining projects can operate independently, they are usually one of many assets under a global operation. 3vG has extensive experience providing InSAR monitoring at scale for multi-site operations and corporate-level monitoring campaigns. This is possible by our investment in purpose-built processing architecture and software designed to monitor and deliver hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of InSAR data every year.
3vG continuously works with clients and mining experts to keep our InSAR monitoring plans relevant to industry regulations and recommendations. We’ve worked with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), the Global Tailings Standard, the Large Open Pit Project, Responsible Mining Foundation, and integration into local Trigger Action Response Plans (TARP) on a project by project basis. 3vG routinely contributes pro-bono to geotechnical academic courses, such as those provided by the Geotechnical Center of Excellence at the University of Arizona. These actions ensure our mining InSAR products remain relevant and up-to-date.
3vG understands that there is more to monitoring than producing scheduled reports. Providing support when needed to extract the most relevant information is a key element of our client-focused approach. That’s why the Displacement DataStream is updated hours after each satellite image acquisition instead of waiting weeks or months to receive results, keeping your knowledge base up to date. In addition, we’ve developed an optional Emergency Response Plan that runs continuously in the background. In the event of deployment, additional unscheduled InSAR results can be delivered, supported by expert analysts, to aid with the response efforts.
Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) is a satellite remote sensing technology used for mapping ground displacement across a number of sectors.
Discover the benefits of using InSAR and learn more about this fascinating technology and how it can be applied to your next project by clicking the button below.Learn More
We are very impressed with this data. We realized that we have problems right now in several areas caused by rain. We saw them shown in red on the map.”