Photogrammetry is becoming a more common method for mapping geological and structural features in underground mines. The issue of capturing geological and structural data in inaccessible areas of mines, such as those that are unsupported, remains even when utilizing photogrammetric methods; thus, geological models of mines are left with incomplete datasets. The implementation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) underground has allowed for experimentation with photogrammetry conducted from a UAV platform. This paper contains the results of an investigation focused on collecting UAV-based imagery at underground locations within Barrick Gold Corporation's Golden Sunlight Mine in Whitehall, Montana, and the use of the imagery to produce 3D models for mapping geologic features. The primary components of the study described are the underground imagery acquisition experiences and a comparison of underground photogrammetry modeling with UAV imagery using two sets of software: a) ADAM Technology's 3DM CalibCam and 3DM Analyst and b) Bentley's ContextCapture for 3D modeling combined with Split Engineering's Split-FX for mapping. The lessons learned during this study may help guide future efforts using UAVs for capturing geologic data, as well as to help monitor stability in areas that are inaccessible.
UAV-Based Geotechnical Modeling and Mapping of an Inaccessible Underground Site
Russell, E. A., MacLaughlin, M. M., and R. M. Turner. "UAV-Based Geotechnical Modeling and Mapping of an Inaccessible Underground Site." Paper presented at the 52nd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, Seattle, Washington, June 2018.
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