Tag Archives: GroundProbe

GroundProbe reflects on geohazard monitoring developments on 20th anniversary

GroundProbe says it is immensely proud to be celebrating 20 years of operation and 20 years of keeping people and communities safe.

Over the last two decades, the company has expanded from a home-grown start-up to become a global innovation powerhouse and the trusted partner of companies around the world, it said.

GroundProbe calls itself a global leader in real-time geohazard monitoring technologies that help manage risk, ensure safety and increase productivity across mining and civil projects. Evolving from a PhD project at the University of Queensland, Australia, in 1993, by 2001, GroundProbe’s founders commercialised the world’s first patented Slope Stability Radar (SSR), which is now widely used to monitor mine walls and warn before collapses occur.

GroundProbe CEO and founder, David Noon, said that the success of GroundProbe’s business and its continual year-on-year growth is built on a culture of innovation and customer intimacy that permeates through every level of the company.

“GroundProbe has now deployed more than 700 systems and support services to customers in more than 35 countries,” he said. “To get to that level, we have proudly built long-term, trusted relationships with the top 20 mining and resources companies, globally.

“Across all of those deployed radars and customers, and in our entire 20-year history, I am most proud to say that we have fulfilled our ultimate goal by making mining safer. Our technology has never failed to detect a collapse, ultimately saving numerous lives.”

Anglo American’s Head of Geotechnical – T&S Group Mining, Lesley Munsamy, recently stated that the company is honoured to have played a part in GroundProbe’s history. The miner celebrated a number of “firsts” with GroundProbe, with the capturing of the first ever slope deformation data, the detection of the first ever slope failure and the first international radar deployment at Anglo American mine sites, GroundProbe said.

“Our mutually-beneficial partnership is based on GroundProbe’s impeccable safety track record and continuous innovation of its hardware and software tools,” Munsamy said. “The precise and valuable data that GroundProbe provides our sites has had an impact on our safety and productivity by enhancing our risk-management practices.

“GroundProbe redefined the slope risk management practices across the world. The availability of reliable real-time monitoring has had a significant impact on safety, a contribution that cannot be underestimated.”

GroundProbe offers Brazilian customers dedicated geotechnical monitoring option

GroundProbe has opened a dedicated Geotechnical Support Service (GSS) monitoring centre in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to, it says, better serve its growing customer base in the country.

The centre will provide 24/7 real-time remote radar and laser monitoring services for mine slopes and tailings dams.

The centre joins GroundProbe’s two existing high-tech monitoring centres in Santiago, Chile, and Balikpapan, Indonesia, to provide support in four languages – Portuguese, Spanish, English and Bahasa.

Monitoring live stability data and reacting to alarms to ensure the maximum safety of people and communities, the centre connects remote sites with geotechnical industry experts in real time, GroundProbe says. The centres are crewed by more than 100 highly experienced engineers and radar operators with extensive radar knowledge and experience.

GroundProbe, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orica, is widely accepted as a global leader in real-time technologies used to detect instabilities and predict when mine and dam collapses will occur.

GroundProbe CEO, David Noon, said that the company had witnessed a huge increase in demand for remote geotechnical expertise in Brazil.

“We saw it as an absolute necessity to bolster our offering and extend our support services to the region,” he said.

“The state-of-the-art centre provides the most technologically advanced solution for remote monitoring in the region and shows our level of commitment to our customers there.

“It leans on our five-and-a-half years of remote monitoring experience, our recognised systems and processes and our established resourcing model, all of which ensures the highest level of data integrity and service availability.”

GroundProbe Head of Geotechnical, Peter Saunders, explained how the service’s positive results and statistics speak for themselves.

“Together, our GSS team have detected and provided early notification to site of 1,440 slope failures, validated 3,615 alarms and managed 44,608 unwanted alarms,” Saunders said.

“GroundProbe also has the world’s largest library of wall folders. Our experts have unprecedented access to this data, gaining a unique perspective on geotechnical monitoring borne from analysing thousands of slope failures and assisting with numerous incident investigations.”

This newest monitoring centre in Belo Horizonte will provide the same services to customers, including: GSS-Remote, GroundProbe’s 24-hour remote monitoring solution; GSS-Training, its specialised SSR and laser training service; and GSS-Reporting, the company’s customised analysis and reporting service.

GroundProbe reacts to geohazard monitoring concerns with RGR-Velox

GroundProbe says it has launched the industry’s most advanced doppler radar for reactive geohazard monitoring, the RGR-Velox.

RGR-Velox (Reactive Geohazard Radar) is a military-precision reactive monitoring and alarming system for tailings dam breaches, large slope failures, landslides and avalanches. It detects, tracks and alarms on moving geohazards in real time, keeping people, assets and communities safe by giving warning of a breach or collapse, GroundProbe, an Orica subsidiary, explained.

The RGR-Velox is the latest technology to be born out of GroundProbe’s Research and Development (R&D) and product development programs, and the most recent innovation to be added to the company’s fleet of technologies and services.

This is GroundProbe’s first product release in reactive monitoring, with the company now offering both predictive and reactive monitoring technologies. Its predictive monitoring solutions (Slope Stability Radars and lasers) detect and warn people and communities of impending mine collapses, dam failures, rockfalls and landslides. The RGR-Velox, a reactive monitoring solution, tracks and alarms on already moving geohazards, post-collapse, giving early warning to take action or evacuate through alarm outputs such as lights, sirens, pagers or phones.

GroundProbe CEO, David Noon, said the company has a customer-oriented approach to innovation and technology which has led to the development of this reactive monitoring solution.

“GroundProbe already has the industry’s broadest range of geotechnical monitoring technologies and services, yet we continually strive to design and develop new solutions to best meet our customers’ needs,” he said. “This technology was a true collaboration between many facets of our organisation, a valued customer and a key partner.

“By having our customers actively participate in our product development process, we are able to co-create value and produce the most beneficial solution offering.”

The RGR-Velox is the highest precision, fastest scanning and longest range doppler radar in the market, according to the company. Military-grade hardware is combined with GroundProbe’s safety-critical software, alarming and systems to provide, it says, unrivalled confidence.

GroundProbe’s VP Technology, Fernanda Carrea, said the RGR-Velox sets the new standard in emergency geohazard monitoring.

“The RGR-Velox sweep-scans an entire area instantly, much like taking a radar photograph, to capture actionable information as it happens and provide new details of the scene every 0.25 seconds,” Carrea said. “Perhaps most impressive is the device’s ability to differentiate and locate small moving objects with precise accuracy, even when moving at just 0.05 m/s.

“Its alarming capabilities are completely customisable, ensuring users are empowered to design alarms tailored entirely to their specific site challenges and conditions.”

Noon said this latest piece of technology reinforces GroundProbe’s number one value and commitment to safety.

“At GroundProbe, we aim to keep people, assets and communities safe through better risk management and the RGR-Velox is the ultimate assistant in reactive safety monitoring.”

GroundProbe’s SSR-Omni slope stability tech recognised at AEEA event

GroundProbe has taken out Queensland’s top award at the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards (AEEA), hosted by industry body Engineers Australia.

The awards recognise and celebrate Australia’s top engineering projects and the engineering teams behind them.

GroundProbe received this award for its SSR-Omni technology. The SSR-Omni is the world’s leading Slope Stability Radar (SSR) technology for monitoring and detecting movement and potential collapses across open-pit mines and tailings dams, GroundProbe says.

GroundProbe’s Head of Product Development, Fernanda Carrea, said: “Our product development department is comprised of a world-class team of engineers across a breadth of engineering disciplines, all working towards a common goal; ensuring maximum safety for our customers through trailblazing technology.

“It’s exciting and humbling for our engineers to be recognised by their peers as experts in their field for their excellent work. The award is especially meaningful considering it’s across all engineering disciplines and industries, not just within our particular focus.”

GroundProbe focuses on real-time technologies that help manage risk, ensure safety and increase productivity across mining and civil projects. In 18 years, the company has grown from a PhD project at the University of Queensland into the global technology and innovation powerhouse it is today.

The SSR-Omni is GroundProbe’s full-coverage, high-resolution system.

Using embedded super-computing on a chip, the SSR-Omni scan processes over 600 MB of raw data down to a fraction of the size, while proprietary algorithms also predict the time of collapse and display the data in 2D and 3D visualisations. The day-night camera system can stream multiple video feeds at different zoom levels back to the user for real-time inspections, according to the company.

GroundProbe’s VP Technology, Lachlan Campbell, said GroundProbe has always been at the forefront of innovation but prides itself on adapting its tried-and-tested mechanical engineering experience to solve new problems.

“Due to catastrophic tailings dam failures resulting in devastating loss of life, the market was looking for a solution to ensure maximum safety for their facilities and surrounding communities,” Campbell said. “We developed a technology that covers the broadest of areas, detecting miniscule movement at the earliest possible time. In 40 seconds, the SSR-Omni scans 360° and takes 37 million measurements in a 11.2 km diameter, showing movement of rock and ground of 0.1 mm precision.”

The SSR-Omni has been successfully deployed to mining customers around the globe, including sites across Australia, North America, South America and Africa.

Engineers Australia Queensland Division Manager, Stacey Rawlings, said of GroundProbe’s award-winning technology: “The SSR-Omni pioneering approach has created a world leading solution for stability monitoring of pits and tailings dams and is a worthy nominee to represent Queensland at the national awards.”

GroundProbe has also been selected as a finalist for the Sir William Hudson Award – the highest honour for a project awarded by Engineers Australia. The Pinnacle Awards Ceremony will be held in November where the Sir William Hudson Award and National Engineer of the Year Award will be announced.

GroundProbe’s GML geotechnical monitoring tool wins IET award

GroundProbe is celebrating taking out the Technology Transfer Award at the 2019 Institution of Engineering Technology (IET) Innovation Awards in London.

The event seeks to acknowledge and celebrate pioneering innovations across the breadth of science, engineering and technology, according to GroundProbe, with the technology transfer award recognising “perception-shifting innovations that demonstrate effective use of existing technology from one sector to another in an alternative way”.

GroundProbe was recognised for its GML technology. Proven in underground mines as a geotechnical monitoring tool, the GML was adapted for civil projects where it reduces the environmental impact and cost of tunnelling through reduced shotcrete use, according to the Orica subsidiary.

The GML system is a high-speed computing and LiDAR technology that provides live feedback to aid efficient tunnel construction. It scans the tunnel or civil project under construction, determining areas of non-compliance for real time remediation. It produces 14 million point results in less than two minutes, according to the company, ensuring the highest quality data is gathered in the fastest time possible.

Benny Chen, GroundProbe’s Manager – Product Innovation and Commercial, said: “In an industry first, the GML is able to guide construction crews to spray to the desired thickness or design profile on-the-fly in real-time.

“With live, actionable information, the innovation significantly reduces shotcrete usage and rework during construction.

“We have proven to reduce shotcrete usage in tunnel projects by 30%, translating to huge environmental and cost benefits,” Chen said.

GroundProbe CEO, Brian Gillespie, said it was an honour to receive international recognition from the IET.

“I am immensely proud of our technology team, who conceived, designed, developed and commercialised this solution for cross-industry applications, all from our company headquarters in Australia.

“Across the world, GroundProbe technologies and our people that build them are making tunnels, underground and open-cut mines and tailings dams safer and improving the way we work,” he said.

Commercialised, patented and proven, the GML has been successfully tested in several major tunnel construction projects in Australia and is currently being demonstrated across the Nordics and Asia.

GroundProbe aggregates geotechnical data with MonitorIQ

GroundProbe says it has launched a new data aggregation software for geotechnical sensor monitoring, MonitorIQ.

MonitorIQ is, according to the Orica-owned company, feature-rich allowing users to collate and compare data from more than 120 sensor types on one platform including the suite of radar, laser and vibration monitors provided by GroundProbe. It also allows users to compare data from prisms, piezometers, drones, temperature readers, air pressure measurement, and many other sensor types.

The all-new software can also consolidate data across multiple sites be they mines, tailings dams, natural landscape hazards or other built structures, according to the company.

“Through the centralisation of all monitoring data into one dashboard and analysis platform, MonitorIQ revolutionises how users consolidate sensor data to correlate and identify trends, ensuring confident decision making,” GroundProbe said.

Brian Gillespie, GroundProbe’s CEO, said the development of MonitorIQ is the result of its customers using many different sensors to gather various types of information.

GroundProbe said: “More than just a data aggregation platform, MonitorIQ comes built-for-purpose with GroundProbe’s patented geotechnical analysis software, SSR-Viewer, fully embedded.

“This gives users the freedom to access SSR-Viewer’s all-inclusive suite of visualisations and safety-critical charting and alarming tools, on-the-fly, direct from MonitorIQ.”

GroundProbe is part of Orica Monitor – a newly formed division of Orica – dedicated to providing advanced monitoring technology solutions across both the mining and civil industries. MonitorIQ, meanwhile, is the latest addition to Orica’s suite of leading digital technology solutions.

Lachlan Campbell, GroundProbe’s VP of Marketing and Technology, said: “MonitorIQ completely eliminates the need for users to switch between multiple platforms when working with any data collected on-site. This combined with SSR-Viewer’s deep dive analysis capability presents an interface that is integrated and intuitive.”

He added: “Safety has been and always will be our number one priority, and this solution will ensure efficient and effective decision-making to provide maximum safety.”

James Usherwood, Product Manager for MonitorIQ, said: “MonitorIQ has definitely transformed the way we view, interact and report on data. Where MonitorIQ will go in the future will definitely change the way the mining and civil construction sectors monitor hazardous areas.”

MonitorIQ is currently being rolled out globally across the GroundProbe customer network, which spans 30 countries.

GroundProbe extends Americas mine, tailings dam monitoring reach with Santiago centre

GroundProbe has launched a dedicated monitoring centre in Santiago, Chile, to, it says, provide 24/7 real-time radar and laser monitoring services for tailings dams and mines throughout North and South America.

The centre connects remote sites with industry experts in three languages, according to GroundProbe, with the facility monitoring live slope stability data and reacting to alarms to ensure the maximum safety of people and communities.

Crewed by 45 specialised geotechnical engineers, these centre provide 24/7 expertise to over 30 customers globally, GroundProbe says.

GroundProbe, owned by Orica, is a global leader in real-time technologies used to detect instabilities and predict when mine and dam collapses will occur.

From a launch event in Santiago, GroundProbe CEO Brian Gillespie said the new centre marked an important step for GroundProbe’s future growth, especially for South and North America.

“We’ve witnessed a boom in Brazil for continuous, real-time monitoring of tailings dams, with a huge increase in demand for our remote, 24/7 geotechnical expertise,” Gillespie said.

“We saw it as an absolute necessity to bolster our offering and extend our support services from Asia Pacific to the Americas.

“Placing the centre in Santiago and ensuring its tri-lingual capabilities allows us to do just that.”

GroundProbe has, for many years, been providing 24/7 assistance to customers from its Asia-Pacific monitoring centre. The addition of a second location, operating in Spanish, Portuguese and English, sees GroundProbe remain at the forefront of our industry, the company said.

David Noon, COO of GroundProbe, said: “Our Santiago remote monitoring centre is operational from day one, with our teams already monitoring many tailings dams, a massive hydro-electric dam and even a landslide on a national highway in Colombia.

“Not only is it essential to our customers that our team are native Spanish and Portuguese speakers, but having a centre in Latin America shows our level of commitment to the region and to creating jobs in the local communities we serve.”

To mark the launch, GroundProbe and Orica hosted an event with key customers, industry representatives and stakeholders (pictured).

GroundProbe’s monitoring centres are home to its Geotechnical Support Services (GSS) team and dedicated team of geotechnical support engineers.

The second monitoring centre in Santiago will provide the same services to customers, including: GSS-Remote, a 24-hour remote monitoring solution; GSS-Training, a SSR and laser training service; and GSS-Reporting, the company’s customised analysis and reporting service.

Rocscience and GroundProbe launch two-way integration

Rocscience and GroundProbe have launched a collaboration between their industry-leading software systems, to provide greater value to the global geotechnical community, the two companies said.

As part of Rocscience’s new release of its slope stability programmes, Slide3 and RS3, deformation output from any of GroundProbe’s Slope Stability Radars or lasers systems can be imported into the programmes.

This data can then be automatically visualised with the geotechnical model, inclusive of Factor of Safety heatmaps and Probability of Failure models.

Users of GroundProbe’s SSR Viewer software will be able to import Slide3’s 3D failure model as a layer, allowing the model to be overlayed with real-time deformation data, in addition with the Factor of Safety maps.

“This is an innovative step and industry first, with the exchange of data being two-ways between the systems,” said Lachlan Campbell, GroundProbe’s VP Marketing and Innovation.

“Having the data flowing two-ways between a geotechnical modelling package and a geotechnical monitoring package means engineers can perform a deep-dive analysis in either software.

“A user could verify their geotechnical model assumptions with the radar data overlaid in Slide3, whilst another could be using the geotechnical model in a real-time monitoring system to see the spatial changes in deformation over time.”

As announced by Rocscience, the partnership between GroundProbe and it will benefit both companies as well as the wider geotechnical engineer community by allowing for the readily accessible exchange of data between software platforms.

Rocscience said the collaboration between companies and software systems will enable geotechnical engineers to analyse and solve problems more effectively by allowing for the direct comparison of modelling and monitoring data on a single display.

Rocscience specialises in developing both 2D and 3D software for use by geotechnical engineers across the civil and mining industries.

Slide3, their 3D geotechnical modelling package (formerly “Slide³”) was first introduced in 2017.

The Slide3 platform allows geotechnical engineers to calculate the factor of safety of complex 3D slope stability geometries that 2D models cannot fully simulate. It also allows for the modelling of advanced geometries like landslides, MSE walls, slopes supported by soil nails, and more.

With Slide3, users can calculate failures in any direction without the need for defining the direction in advance, increasing efficiency in modelling and analysis.

GroundProbe is a leader in the development and supply of advanced technology solutions to the mining and civil industries. SSR-Viewer is the common software across all GroundProbe monitoring solutions.

It processes the complex data that our systems collect and makes it easily understood, allowing its users to view movement, understand when it becomes a problem and predict the time of failure.

The partnership between the two companies, and the integration between their software packages, gives geotechnical engineers around the globe the most sophisticated of slope stability analysis tools.

GroundProbe brings new features and functionality to SSR-Viewer 9

GroundProbe has released a new version of its SSR-Viewer software that comes with a powerful engine to “revolutionise” 3D data visualisation across its entire suite of Slope Stability Radars and lasers, according to the company.

CEO John Beevers said the release brings a host of new features and functionality to its “market-leading platform, many of them developed in collaboration with our customers”.

The SSR-Viewer 9 release features two new analysis tools, the possibility of visualising 2D radar data in 3D, drag and drop external layers and structures, and alarm threshold visualisation, among other developments.

The latest release supports all GroundProbe Series-2 and Series-3 radar technologies – 3D real aperture radar, 2D real aperture radar and 2D synthetic aperture radar – and both of the company’s new LiDAR-based technologies, the Geotech Monitoring Station (GMS) and Geotech Monitoring LiDAR (GML).

“All the features and benefits of SSR-Viewer that our long-serving radar customers have been accustomed to – such as its intuitive visualisations, industry-leading analysis tools and powerful reporting – are now also available for our LiDAR-based solutions,” GroundProbe said.

The 2D radar data visualisation in 3D allows SSR-FX and SSR-SARx users to view data in the new DTM (digital terrain map) View visualisation, as well as in the existing Plan View visualisation.

“In both, the deformation heatmap is overlayed on top of the scene, and users can switch between the two visualisations. To visualise the 2D data in 3D, users simply import their mine site DTM and align the radar data with it,” GroundProbe said.

“The two are snapped together ready for viewing and analysis. Once the DTM is imported, the radar data is automatically geo-referenced.”

For SSR-XT users, the 3D visualisation functionality has been “significantly improved”, the company said.

“The radar still automatically generates a powerful, high-density 3D model of the wall, live, with every scan. But SSR-XT users now have the flexibility of optionally importing a mine DTM for a holistic view of the entire site.

“Across all our radars, the new DTM feature also allows users to drag and drop external models, geology layers and structures, with geo-referencing built in. Data layers, such as the data point cloud, radar point cloud and enhanced deformation masks can be switched on and off to suit the user.”

The two new analysis tools are called Forecast and Spot Velocity.

Forecast allows users to estimate the time of collapse using inverse velocity theory, with users able to add a forecast prediction, in-chart, to easily visualise when the plot reaches zero and, hence, the time of collapse.

Spot Velocity, meanwhile, gives users the rate of change between two points in time with the click of a button. It gives the user not only the rate of change, but also the delta time and delta measurements.

And, the alarm threshold visualisation tool – available for all alarm types – comes on a ‘banded window’ on the corresponding analysis chart. When an alarm is defined, the threshold is visualised in the charts using a banded window of three colours.

“Green areas show when an alarm isn’t triggering, while the red and orange areas highlight when the alarm will trigger, allowing for an early indication of when an alarm is approaching,” the company said.

Alarm thresholds are also a powerful back analysis tool, GroundProbe says. Site specific alarm thresholds can be generated from back analysis and an iterative approach towards the application of alarms can be adopted.

SSR-Viewer 9 also has the option of a single or double view on SSR-XT, GMS and GML devices, and increased levels of support with WebUpload.