uGPS: Developing a mobile localization and 3D mapping technology for the underground mining industry
CIM Vancouver 2016
Mr Andrew Chapman (Technical Manager, Mining Solutions - Peck Tech Consulting Ltd.), Mr Curtis Watson (Applications Specialist - Peck Tech Consulting Ltd.)
While the surface mining industry was greatly advanced with the introduction of global positioning systems (GPS) in the 1990s, no comparable technology yet exists underground. Similarly, 3D mapping underground is an emerging field but so far has been mostly constrained to conventional, stationary surveying set-ups.
This presentation covers the authors' work in developing a mobile underground positioning and mapping technology for the mining industry. This LIDAR-based approach has succeeded in its original goal of mine site-wide positioning with precision comparable to surface L1 GPS, and as a necessity has evolved an impressive capability for rapid volumetric mapping. The process of commercializing this technology from the initial research stage to the finished product is reviewed, including technical challenges, input from industrial partners, and results from real world use cases. Also highlighted are capabilities of the finished product’s technology platform, and a few applications of the technology with the potential to revolutionize underground planning and production operations.