Tag Archives: slope stability

GroundProbe cancels out atmospheric ‘noise’ with new slope stability monitoring algorithm

A collaboration with mining operations across the globe has resulted in the development of a new atmospheric correction algorithm for Slope Stability Radar (SSR) that, GroundProbe says, provides a step change in the way atmospherics are treated and managed.

Precision Atmospherics is the most advanced correction algorithm in the market today, according to the company, able to distinguish and significantly reduce the noise caused by the most turbulent atmospheric conditions, providing a decisively clearer picture of real deformation.

It is the result of several years of rigorous development, testing and evolution, and represents one of the most significant research and development projects GroundProbe has ever undertaken, the company says. GroundProbe partnered with a global collection of mines in different climatic regions in the extensive validation program, including one of the largest open-pit mines in the world, Rio Tinto Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon copper mine in Utah, the US.

Rio Tinto Kennecott’s Senior Engineer, Geotech, Dustin Hicks, has been part of Precision Atmospherics development and testing since 2019, when first presented to Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon mine.

“GroundProbe delivered an SSR-Omni equipped with Precision Atmospherics to Bingham Canyon to demonstrate its capability in the rapidly changing atmospheric environment that our site experiences,” Hicks said.

“The Precision Atmospherics algorithm effectively managed a variety of atmospheric conditions including blast and wind induced dust plumes, rain and snow, which resulted in significantly less contaminated data.

“It reduced the noise on a scan-by-scan basis, which opens the door for tighter alarm configurations that would otherwise overburden the geotechnical team.”

In complex atmospheres, especially at large mines, atmospheric variability can hinder the ability to detect early-stage movement.

Precision Atmospherics is currently available on GroundProbe’s 2D Real Aperture Radars fleet. The combination of real aperture technologies with this algorithm allows mine sites to have better deformation detection capability in all seasons and conditions, according to the company.

GroundProbe’s Chief Executive Officer, David Noon, said Precision Atmospherics is a game changer in tracking both slow and rapid trends.

“With the smoother plots and cleaner maps that Precision Atmospherics provides, customers can focus their attention on recently started or slow-moving deformation,” he said. “This is important for gleaning the potentially significant geotechnical problems that can only be detected through long-term analysis.

“Both rapid and slow trends are shown in a single data set, and unlike other techniques, there is no post-processing required to detect slow movements.”

Alberto Cabrejo, GroundProbe’s Global Practice Lead – Geotechnical Advisory, added: “Precision Atmospherics is the most important addition to the monitoring practice using interferometric radars. It responds directly to the most important request from Geotechnical Engineers around the world: data quality.

“With this algorithm, we can finally use tight alarms appropriate for rock mass deformation rather than alarms that will not be triggered by weather changes.”

GroundProbe and Orica collaborate on ‘world-first’ BlastVision solution

GroundProbe, a member of the Orica Group, has launched BlastVision®, a world-first solution that, it says, delivers actionable blast performance insights for optimal safety and productivity.

The crucial data aids in the detection of potential misfires and out-of-sequence firing and in identifying and tracking fly rock, according to the company. Intra-blast monitoring also adds valuable wall control insights, such as monitoring and mapping instantaneous blast damage to slopes and identifying movement on significant structures.

GroundProbe, a specialist in geotechnical monitoring, leveraged the partnership with Orica, a leading mining and blasting solutions provider, to gain information around current blast monitoring methods through interviews with engineers, according to GroundProbe CEO, David Noon.

“Through talking to mine site engineers responsible for blasting on the ground, we identified that many sites were still using quite simple and sometimes unsafe methods for blast analysis.

“Techniques included recording blasts with ground-based camera systems and conducting visual inspections of this footage to determine areas of concern.

“From this, the idea of using drone footage and automated algorithms to quickly identify key areas of interest was born.”

BlastVision takes custom high-speed drone footage of a blast as it happens, using world-first advanced proprietary algorithms and modern AI frameworks to convert the footage into analytics data, according to GroundProbe. Data is then remotely analysed in its custom software platform, with insights swiftly reported back to the site. From these insights, mine site personnel can optimise blasting and monitor the impacts of blasting, improving both safety and productivity, the company said.

The solution has been tested, trialled or demonstrated across over 60 mine sites around the globe, positively impacting hundreds of drill and blast team members across these mine sites, according to GroundProbe.

GroundProbe’s VP – Technology, Fernanda Carrea, said that no other solution provides the range of insights from the whole blast area that BlastVision provides, from start to finish.

“BlastVision provides an increased level of safety, efficiency, accuracy and productivity through our software algorithm automatically identifying key areas and issues,” Carrea said.

“Data is also able to be captured before, during and after a blast, and covers the blast area in its entirety.

“We can proudly say that this patent-pending technology is a world first.”

IDS GeoRadar adds artificial intelligence layer to slope stability monitoring process

IDS GeoRadar, part of Hexagon, has announced a new solution for geotechnical professionals that, it says, pioneers the introduction of artificial intelligence in slope stability monitoring – Ai.DA, the AI-based software monitoring tool for Guardian.

Ai.DA is an artificial intelligence-based software tool providing an additional smart processing layer to radar data. Ai.DA, through the use of algorithms, simplifies the identification of movements from possible residual noise by evaluating the consistency of the detected movement trend with typical slope instabilities behaviours and models, helping professionals to optimise processes and take better decisions, IDS says.

Ai.DA is an intelligent support to radar data interpretation and is fully integrated with Guardian, IDS GeoRadar’s software to manage slope stability risks in both open-pit mining operations and natural geo-hazards. Guardian’s processed radar data is automatically pushed to Ai.DA providing an additional smart processing layer that highlights quick moving areas through an intuitive interface with a clear and detailed view on a 3D map.

Ai.DA can provide simultaneous data processing of radar data originating from one to six different radars and
highlights timely localised and quick moving areas, which are often difficult to manage, for improved decision making, the company says.

“With Ai.DA, we are pioneering the use of artificial intelligence in slope stability monitoring, and we commit to providing customers with state-of-the-art technology solutions to support radar data interpretation,” Angela Patera, Guardian Product Owner at IDS GeoRadar, said. “Interpreting the big amount of available data is the new challenge for geotechnical engineers and Ai.DA represents a valuable support to this demanding task.”

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.”

Seequent’s GeoStudio Core to help geotech engineers tackle major engineering challenges

Geoscience software company Seequent has announced the release of GeoStudio Core, a new, completely reformulated SIGMA/W product.

These upgrades allow geotechnical engineers to understand and tackle major engineering challenges for infrastructure and mining projects – from dams and levees to tunnelling and the stability of cuts in underground and open-pit mines, the company says.

Paul Grunau, President of Seequent’s GEOSLOPE, says GeoStudio Core 2021 is the most significant GeoStudio release in the past five years.

“SIGMA/W has been completely redeveloped from the ground up, delivering new levels of confidence and capability for geotechnical engineers needing to assess ground deformations and stability,” Grunau said. “The new strength reduction stability analysis in SIGMA/W complements the industry-trusted solutions in SLOPE/W to provide a rigorous understanding of slope failure mechanisms, allowing the engineer to design effective stabilisation measures. These products integrate with SEEP/W to include the impact of changing groundwater conditions, providing a comprehensive solution for stability problems.

“The combined GeoStudio Core solution runs in a single integrated environment, speeding up the project workflow and easily scaling with the user’s needs. All project data and analyses can be combined into a single project file, enabling smooth data exchange and simpler data management.”

GeoStudio Core, with SIGMA/W’s expanded material model library and new analysis types, allows for comprehensive modelling of a wider range of soil and rock behaviour, according to Seequent. For example, simulating the strain-softening behaviour of brittle clays enables stability control of a tailings dam or roadway cut.

The new GeoStudio multi-physics solver enables SIGMA/W to offer improved solver performance and enhanced modelling of rapid reservoir drawdown, open-pit mine dewatering effects on highwall stability, and solute transport from tailings ponds.