GroundProbe releases new in pit radar

The radar for GroundProbe's current SSR-FX system

GroundProbe has released a new slope stability monitoring radar for use in pit.

The SSR-FX is designed to aid in increasing safety and productivity in mines.

Strategically positioned radars, both broad and targeted area, detect and pre-warn of slope instabilities that could endanger operating personnel and equipment and impact operations, GroundProbe CEO John Beevers said.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Targeted monitoring focuses on a known, safety-critical risk for short periods with alarms that alert mine operators of slope movement, allowing operators to instantly respond when a hazard occurs, whereas broad area monitoring 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, with the company previously focused on the targeted area of monitoring.

The new SSR-FX has already been deployed in six countries to aid in broad area wall movement in open pit mines.

“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,” Anglo American’s chief geotechnical engineer for the South African Sishen mine, Richard Carey, said.

“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,” Carey said.

“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.”

One of the new features of the SSSR-FX is its intuitive interface, which allows operators to 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,” GroundProbe’s VP of marketing and technology Lachlan Campbell said.

Additionally, the new slope stability monitor shares the same hardware and software as GroundProbe’s other monitoring radars, allowing for interchangeable parts and common training.

Beevers said 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.

“Appropriate monitoring systems allow for more aggressive slope designs while maintaining safe working conditions for mine personnel,” he said..

“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.”

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