New radar takes in-pit safety to new heights

GROUNDPROBE has released a broad area slope stability monitoring radar that it claims will considerably enhance mining productivity and safety.

Lou Caruana

GroundProbe CEO John Beevers said the launch of the SSR-FX was a milestone for GroundProbe in developing technology to assist mining productivity and safety and said GroundProbe could now offer customers a total slope stability detection solution.

Open-cut mines have long been familiar with radar monitoring technologies for slope stability. Strategically positioned radars detect and pre warn of slope instabilities that could endanger operating personnel and equipment and impact operations.

Beevers said GroundProbe helped revolutionise safety in mining with development of the Slope Stability Radar in 2001 and the launch of the new broad area radar would take in-pit safety to new heights.

“The SSR-FX is the first product in our range of broad area monitoring solutions,” he said.

“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.

“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.”

There are two existing monitoring strategies which GroundProbe practices – targeted and broad.

Targeted monitoring focuses on a known, safety-critical risk for short periods with alarms that alert mine operators of slope movement, allowing mine personnel to instantly and confidently respond when a hazard changes. GroundProbe has sold and installed targeted monitoring systems at mines around the world since its establishment more than 10 years ago.

Broad area monitoring is a different strategy which 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.