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6 ways mine sites, landfill & quarries use RPA in 2018

  1. Get volumes faster and safer
    Stop sending staff out to walk stockpiles and reduce the number of field surveys required to validate them. A drone operator will get volumes quickly and safely and then allow you to do comparisons from previous surveys. RPA/ Drone survey can also identify areas suffering from uneven settlement.2. Monitor site progress & spot deviations
    Use drone data to create spatially accurate maps and models that you can overlay with design files to ensure work is progressing to plan and that deviations are identified and rectified early.3. Improve blast planning
    Good site surveys by drone and bench level plans can improve blast results and significantly reduce drilling and blasting costs for quarries and mines.4. Get more frequent airspace calculations
    Use the detailed elevation data to quickly calculate your sites total airspace. With RPA making frequent flights affordable, you can also compare volume changes over time. Identify areas suffering from uneven settlement. Other information such as ground water monitoring well locations can be overlaid to give a full picture of site infrastructure.5. For compliance reporting
    Hire a drone operator to create a highly accurate map of your site which you can overlay on a landfill design to ensure you are keeping within the approved limits. Inspect for erosion, fence line conditions, vegetation coverage, groundwater and other physical aspects of your landfill site.

    6. Finally, giving site managers access to the models
    After the drone has landed and the data is taken out of it, various platforms such as Propeller and Arc GIS can be used to stitch the images and process the data to deliver 3D terrain models. Outputs are geo-referenced and ortho-rectified, meaning measurements and calculations can be taken directly from them – distance, area and slope calculations right up to stockpile volume analysis, sight lines or watershed runoff simulations.

    Red Bird and 4D Mapper are programs that make the final models visible via your internet browser so site managers can easily view them without needing to download expensive software. These platforms basically allow drone pilots to manage and share their models in a browser – be it LiDAR, point-clouds, orthomosaicks, 3D terrain models (DSM/DTM) or GIS. Site managers can even do some simple interactive functions such as measure points, lines, areas, profiles and volumes.

How much do drone surveyors charge?

Experienced drone surveyors in Australia will charge around $175-$285 per hour for survey and mapping work. These guys are not your run of the mill drone flyers – they understand the need for flight preparations in order to get accurate data sets – weather checks, take-off and landing, sufficient imagery overlap, and the correct software/algorithm for processing the data after it has been acquired.