Tag Archives: DJI

Emesent’s Hovermap aids ore pass decision making at Petra’s Finsch diamond mine

Highly accurate point cloud data sets from a Hovermap scan have allowed Petra Diamonds’ Finsch mine engineers to “see” the condition of ore passes for the first time and avoid an estimated five months and R5 million ($350,000) in remediation, Emesent says.

Finsch, in South Africa’s Northern Cape, uses ore passes and underground silos to transfer ore between levels or to redirect ore for load and haul to the surface. Blockages, hang-ups, overbreak or scaling can impact the structural integrity and result in extended downtime and significant remediation costs. Accurate imagery enables mine engineers to gauge the integrity of ore passes and plan timely and cost-effective remediation programs, according to Emesent.

Historically, however, scanning and mapping inaccessible shafts and voids has been a challenge for Petra.

The company’s management sought a means of obtaining accurate visualisations of underground voids, quickly and cost effectively, without endangering the safety of Petra personnel or contractors, Emesent says.

Petra management trialled the Hovermap multiple data capture methods with Emesent partner, Dwyka Mining Services, contracted to carry out multiple scans of an indoor stockpile, ore passes and vertical shafts, and a series of access tunnels and ramps.

Hovermap is a drone autonomy and LiDAR mapping payload. It uses the LiDAR data and advanced algorithms on-board, in real time, to provide reliable and accurate localisation and navigation without the need for GPS.

Dwyka spent a day on-site conducting a series of scans using Hovermap mounted to vehicles, a DJI drone, or lowered in a protective cage. Dwyka delivered point cloud data sets for Petra’s survey team to geo-reference and analyse, within 24 hours. It also provided visualisations of the ore passes, enabling the mine engineers to ‘see’ the condition of orepasses for the first time, Emesent said.

Alex Holder, Group Planning and Projects Lead at Petra Diamonds, explained: “We lowered Hovermap down ore passes, flew the drone into draw points and even scanned our shaft and ramps by fixing the scanner to one of our vehicles. The visualisation delivered exceeded all our expectations. The data captured in one ore pass saved us significant time and effort by confirming it was irreparable. That saved us millions.”

Using Hovermap led to an immediate decision to abandon plans to expend resources remediating a compromised ore shaft. This decision saved Petra an estimated five months and R5 million.

Heinrich Westermann, Mining Engineer at Petra Diamonds, said: “The ability to power and switch the Hovermap payload between the various applications meant that we were able to scan a considerable amount of the mine in one shift. Generally, this was either impossible and, if it were possible, it would take weeks to collect those datasets and months to see the final visuals.”

The data collected by Hovermap has become the basis of a data library for the site. It is augmented regularly and used to inform operational decision making by Petra’s mine planning and survey teams, according to Emesent.

Petra intends to deploy Hovermap scanning technology to map inaccessible locations at its other sites across Africa, Emesent says.

Emesent achieves ‘industry first’ flight with DJI drone

Emesent has allowed DJI’s M300 drone to fly autonomously underground in what it believes to be a world first for the platform.

The flights took place on August 4 at the Round Oak Minerals-owned Mt Colin copper mine in Cloncurry, Queensland, and were followed by similarly successful flights at another underground mine in north Queensland on August 13, Emesent said.

Emesent’s Hovermap LiDAR mapping and autonomy payload was used to add advanced autonomy to the newly launched DJI Matrice 300 RTK (M300). Coupling Hovermap with the M300 allows users to let the drone fly autonomously and safely into GPS-denied or inaccessible environments, such as densely packed warehouses, the undersides of bridges and in underground mines, Emesent says.

Mt Colin Mine Surveyor, Ashley Tibbles, said the Emesent technology would enable Round Oak to safely access complex locations quickly, and to a high degree of detail.

“Quality data has always been integral to safety and productivity in the underground mining sector,” Tibbles said. “The Hovermap provides an unparalleled platform to deliver this.”

Hovermap uses the LiDAR data and advanced algorithms on-board, in real time, to provide reliable and accurate localisation and navigation without the need for GPS, Emesent says.

Emesent CEO, Dr Stefan Hrabar, said the success of the underground flights with the Hovermap-enabled M300 will open up new possibilities for underground mines.

“The M300 is an excellent match for carrying Hovermap underground because of its flight endurance, IP rating, and ability to carry additional sensors such as cameras,” he said. “This will allow valuable data capture further into inaccessible areas of the mines.”

Dr Hrabar added: “Robust underground flight technology can significantly extend the capability of industrial drones and will deliver real benefits to the mining, construction and emergency response sectors.

“We’re looking forward to partnering with customers to help them derive competitive advantage from this breakthrough technology.”

SUEK-Kuzbass takes to the skies for surveying and land management surveys

SUEK says it has purchased six unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with various modifications intended for aerial photography during surveying operations of its Kuzbass facilities, in the Kemerovo region of Russia.

The decision to develop the company’s fleet of UAVs was made after a test of aerial photography at SUEK’s open-pit mines in the Krasnoyarsk region and Buryatia, the company said. “After analysing the accuracy and detail of 3D terrain models obtained using UAVs, SUEK concluded that this technology could be used for surveying and land management in mining,” it said.

In August 2018, the Aerial Surveying Office was established as part of the technical directorate in Kuzbass. Today, the office is equipped with two Russia-made UAVs capable of making aerial photographs at a height up to 1 km, with a flight duration of two-and-a-half and four hours, respectively.

SUEK’s fleet also includes four compact DJI drones and a GNSS receiver that makes it possible to receive and process signals from all navigation satellite systems that exist today, it says. This latter device enables surveyors to locate UAVs during aerial photography.

Simultaneously with the procurement of equipment and staff training, the Aerial Surveying Office has made efforts to satisfy the requirements of the mandatory registration of UAVs with the Federal Air Transport Agency, to ensure compliance with legislation governing the use of Russian airspace, the process of aerial photography and the operation of UAVs, SUEK said.

The technology is helping the company solve a whole range of issues related to open-pit mining, such as evaluating the size of coal storage facilities, monitoring hazardous situations, updating topographic plans of work areas and surrounding territories, and monitoring the use of company land. The latter includes actual use of allotted land, the intended purpose of the land, reclamation, demolition control in buffer zones and property stock taking, the company said.

Anatoly Meshkov, Technical Director of SUEK-Kuzbass, said: “First of all, UAVs improve the efficiency and safety of surveying measurements and the accuracy of necessary calculations. We can now remotely control mining operations at almost any point and build digital enterprise models.

“Essentially, this is another step towards creating a ‘digital underground mine’ and a ‘digital open-pit mine’ to obtain the maximum amount of data for highly efficient management of coal production processes.”

DJI and Delair team up to improve operational efficiencies using drones

DJI, a civilian drones and aerial imaging technology company, and Delair, a provider of visual data management solutions for enterprise, have announced a partnership that will see the two companies collaborate on enhanced and integrated solutions for visual data collection and analysis for businesses.

The partnership will include an agreement for Delair to sell DJI products through its worldwide sales channel, along with launching a relationship to build compatibility across platforms, they said. One of the industries likely to benefit from the collaboration is mining.

Jan Gasparic, Director of Strategic Partnerships at DJI, said: “DJI is incredibly excited to be working more closely with the Delair team to support their vision of building a leading software suite.

“At DJI, we aim at providing reliable, scalable drone offerings that empower organisations such as Delair to build software solutions that allow businesses across a range of sectors to benefit from drone data. The partnership is an important agreement that demonstrates an increasing maturity in the enterprise drone industry. It reinforces the benefit of collaboration within the drone ecosystem to deliver more value to customers.”

The partnership builds on the two companies’ success in the enterprise market, and firmly establishes Delair as a leading provider of complete, end-to-end visual intelligence solutions, the two said. DJI drones are, according to the company’s own estimates, the most deployed drone hardware for enterprises today. “This partnership facilitates the accessibility to incorporate both DJI drone products and Delair’s data management platform, providing a hassle-free option for enterprise drone programs,” they said.

Benjamin Benharrosh, Co-Founder and VP Sales at Delair, said drones for enterprise are more than just hardware solutions: the real key is tapping into and leveraging the data these powerful machines can gather.

“DJI’s developer technologies and existing installed base allow Delair to build an industry-leading analytics suite that can be utilised instantly across a customer’s fleet,” he said. “Both DJI and Delair recognise the importance of providing enterprise-calibre solutions from trusted partners to enable true digital transformations by our customers. We are confident this partnership will further accelerate how businesses can improve their operational efficiencies using drones.”

The relationship strengthens Delair’s ability to serve key industry sectors increasingly relying on visual data to drive their businesses, such as construction, transportation and infrastructure, utilities, mining and agriculture, the companies said.

Through the support of DJI systems with the delair.ai platform, customers will now have a one-stop shop and  freedom of choice in using the cloud-based system’s wide range of tools to help derive insights from drone data, including industry-specific analytics tools optimised for specific use cases, the companies said.

Delair’s platform allows companies to manage, process, view, analyse and collaborate around aerial data. In a mining context, this could see firms control and report on inventory, support a safety road map or, optimise and maintain haul roads.

“Some of the off-the-shelf features and analytics for extracting business intelligence include creating digital twins, field inventory calculations, vegetation encroachment, automatic defect detection, automatic stockpile detection and volume measurements, along with any application which is based on AI object detection for asset management,” the companies concluded.

Drone specialists Kespry and DJI combine forces to improve stockpile monitoring

Kespry and DJI are pooling resources to offer the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone as part of the Kespry stockpile measurement solution for mining and aggregates companies.

“This solution delivers the unique Kespry autonomous flight and aerial intelligence experience for stockpile measurement using a DJI drone,” according to Kespry.

“Adding this affordable, powerful and portable solution will enable large aggregates and mining companies to standardise and capture stockpile data across all their sites in the Kespry platform, while continuing to use the high-accuracy Kespry 2 drones to support mine and site planning operations.”

Integration of data captured from a DJI drone is the next innovation in the development of the Kespry industrial sensor platform, according to the company.

To date, Kespry has built a customer base of more than 200 mining and aggregates companies by providing drones for more accurate, easier to use, and safer ways to provide inventory management and mine planning data.

“As these customers scale their use of drone data, they are looking to standardise on a single platform to organise and analyse that data across sites, geographies, and product divisions – even when those sites are highly distributed,” Kespry says.

The addition of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro to the Kespry lineup is designed to enable even more site data to be centralised in the Kespry cloud.

George Mathew, CEO and Chairman of Kespry, said: “Drone data is now the standard approach for measuring stockpiles at mine sites, however, millions of dollars are wasted through reconciling inconsistent data from different platforms and the time involved getting that data ready for analysis.”

“Our goal with the addition of the Mavic 2 Pro to our solution is to respond to our customers wishing to use the Kespry aerial intelligence platform across all mine sites to standardise how stockpile data is generated – lowering their costs and helping drive the profitability of every site.”

Jan Gasparic, Director of Strategic Partnerships at DJI, said: “Pairing the Mavic 2 Pro with Kespry’s industry-leading AI, ML, and analytics capabilities will be of enormous benefit to mining companies that are looking to take advantage of drone technology in a portable and powerful package.”

The integration of DJI’s drone and sensors into the Kespry platform is the latest innovation in the delivery of an industrial sensor network, closely following Kespry’s recently-announced high-resolution thermal capabilities for industrial inspection.

The Kespry platform is now capable of processing and analysing a wide range of sensor data, enabling the future creation of industry-specific applications, including those under current development with leaders in the energy sector.

Kespry is offering the Mavic 2 Pro as part of its fully-managed, end-to-end annual subscription model. Kespry customers that choose the Mavic 2 Pro for stockpile measurement will benefit from the full Kespry experience, including its support, training, customer success team, and drone up-time guarantee.

The Kespry stockpile measurement solution with DJI will be available in the first quarter of next year.