New Radar Launches In-Pit Safety to New Heights
Following several years of development and successful testing, GroundProbe has released a game changing broad area slope stability monitoring radar that will considerably enhance mining productivity and safety.
GroundProbe CEO John Beevers said the launch of the SSR-FX was another significant milestone for GroundProbe in developing revolutionary technology to assist mining productivity and safety and said GroundProbe could now offer customers a total slope stability detection solution.
GroundProbe has been a global leader in development and supply of slope stability radars to mining for almost a decade and its radars have revolutionised in-pit safety, allowing mine planners to access areas previously not possible. Open-cut mines have long been familiar with radar monitoring technologies for slope stability. Strategically positioned radars detect and pre warn of slope instabilities that could endanger operating personnel and equipment and impact operations.
Mr Beevers said GroundProbe helped revolutionise safety in mining with development of the Slope Stability Radar in 2001 and the launch of the new broad area radar would take in-pit safety to new heights.
“The SSR-FX is the first product in our range of broad area monitoring solutions. It uses new antenna technology not yet seen in the mining industry, to scan 180 degrees every two minutes with sub millimetre precision, over long periods. No other broad area radar can currently offer the same resolution as the SSR-FX, as it delivers clearer images in scanning by generating more pixels in each scan than any other radar system in the market. This means mine operators can detect smaller moving areas in their pit, allowing them to have full control and total confidence in decision making,” he said.
There are two existing monitoring strategies which GroundProbe practices – targeted and broad. Targeted monitoring focuses on a known, safety-critical risk for short periods with alarms that alert mine operators of slope movement, allowing mine personnel to instantly and confidently respond when a hazard changes.
GroundProbe has sold and installed targeted monitoring systems at mines around the world since its establishment over ten years ago. Broad area monitoring is a different strategy which covers large mine areas for long periods to locate new risks and hazards. Used in conjunction with targeted radar, the broad area system finds ‘hot spots’ that can then be continuously monitored with the targeted radar.
The SSR-FX is the first ever broad area monitoring system developed by GroundProbe. High demand for the SSR-FX has resulted in deployments in six countries and industry acclaim for its ability to accurately and precisely detect broad area wall movement in open-pit mines. Anglo American’s Chief Geotechnical Engineer at South Africa’s Sishen Mine, Richard Carey, said the SSR-FX ‘delivered on expectations’ when it was selected as part of a long-term broad area monitoring strategy.
“The SSR-FX has proven very effective for this type of monitoring and has the ability to provide a rapid scan time, and to distinguish between real movement and mine induced movement in a very large and busy mine.
“Using the SSR-FX updated photo imaging system, you can access the radar from a remote location and zoom into the area, to analyse for real or mining induced movement. The ability to integrate mine plans, satellite images and structural features to the SSR-Viewer has added a powerful tool to the Geotechnical Engineer’s toolbox. Having the same software for both critical monitoring tools such as the SSR-XT and now the broad area monitoring SSR-FX, will reduce complications when setting up and analysing data, allowing for a more seamless user experience,” Mr Carey said.
GroundProbe Vice President of Marketing and Technology, Lachlan Campbell, said a special feature of the SSR-FX was the intuitive interface which provided the ability to see a view of the mine made up of radar-generated photographs combined with plan view images of a mine, such as aerial pictures, DTMs, mine plans or CAD illustrations.
“The two images are linked, and so when one image moves, the other tracks. The radar data is then draped over the surface. This allows geotechnical engineers to immediately detect and locate any new hazards,” he said. The SSR-FX also shares hardware and software with GroundProbe’s targeted monitoring radars, such as the SSR-XT.
“Parts are interchangeable to ensure reliability and common training and because support services are the same, technicians can work with either system. There are also smart business synergies in having one supplier and we feel that’s important in times when commodity businesses are being forced to do more with less.”
CEO John Beevers says it makes economic sense for mines to install suitable monitoring systems.
“If failure mechanisms are understood and slopes are properly monitored, risks can be significantly reduced, and of course, lives can be saved.
“Appropriate monitoring systems allow for more aggressive slope designs while maintaining safe working conditions for mine personnel. The extra revenue generated by the steep slopes and the savings gained from fewer damages and injuries will almost, in all cases, far outweigh the cost of the monitoring equipment,” he said. GroundProbe is recognised as a global leader in early uptake and utilisation of radar technology to deliver solutions to mines.
“Our Geotechnical Engineers travel extensively, visiting client sites, training site personnel, and remotely monitor the output of working radars, to help interpret data and produce regular reports. Through their expertise, we design and provide tailored slope monitoring solutions on any scale. This interface with mines also helps us understand production demands and to build tailored solutions,” Mr Beevers said.
For further information on GroundProbe’s SSR-FX and its capabilities, please contact your local GroundProbe office or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SSR-FX Fast Facts
- SSR-FX uses a new antenna technology never-before-seen in the mining industry, which scans 180 degrees of a mine every two minutes, allowing mine personnel to work in large areas of their mine
- The low profile antenna technology detects sub-millimetre movement anywhere on the wall slope, allowing mine operators to accurately detect and predict future collapses, even in high wind operations
- SSR-FX is a Real Aperture Radar which gives unrivalled broad area coverage, using a pixel resolution of over 1.5 million per scan, updated every two minutes, with a maximum diameter of 5.6km – a faster speed than any other competing technology
- SSR-FX includes the market leading SSR-Viewer software – the same software as the SSR™ – to comprehensively visualise and analyse data, allowing for seamless and user friendly experience
- SSR-FX includes safety-critical stackable alarms to effectively monitor vast areas of a mine for extended periods of time, to detect new failures or moving areas of a wall, and will alarm when a collapse is about to occur.