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Application of drones in the mining industry

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Before drone technology matured, people had to use expensive artificial aircraft to obtain some data. Today, drones have a faster and cheaper way to obtain data, and they are more innovative. Drones are currently changing the development of many industries. In the process of obtaining data, mining has benefited from a completely new technology of drones. Drones are currently used in many mines, and in the near future, drones may be an essential configuration for mining.

 

Drones can come in handy in all important areas of the mining industry, such as blasting, planning, mining operations, and ecological reconstruction of mines.

 

blasting

 

The mine location is often in a relatively remote area, and the existing map information may be incomplete. In the early stage of blasting work, it would be very beneficial for the blasting operation to have a general look at the surrounding environment. In the past, this task was often done by professional aerial photography companies, and the corresponding cost was also very expensive. This has also led to aerial maps being used to obtain maps only during the later blasting phase in actual operation.

 

Today, drones can do better jobs at a lower cost. Drones can produce a high-definition map of a region in a day, sometimes just a few hours. Because the flight altitude is generally maintained at 2000-2500 feet, traditional aircraft must be equipped with cameras above 80 million pixels; drones can fly at a minimum height of 250 feet, and only need to be equipped with a 16 million pixel camera to draw Better effect maps. As for satellite maps, because of the long distance, the shooting effect is not as good as drone shooting, and the cost will be more expensive.

 

Drones can take aerial photos quickly during the initial blasting phase, and cost only a few thousand dollars. In contrast, it takes 10 times more to shoot images with a traditional aircraft.

 

Mining operations

 

Drones can play a large role in actual mining work. The most common is that drones measure mineral volume. The traditional method of measuring mineral reserves is to use GPS on the ground to conduct surveys in mines. Many mines still use this method today. Drones can also accomplish this task, which is safer than manual measurement.

 

UAVs can model walls and slopes and estimate mine stability. The drone can also fly close to the mine wall to observe the details. The cost of 3D modeling with drones is also relatively low, so drones can also repeat surveys to verify the accuracy of the collected data.

 

Ecological reconstruction

 

During the ecological reconstruction phase of a mine, it is important to understand what the mine looks like before and after mining. Acquiring data from drones to generate accurate three-dimensional images can help the mining area recover as much as it was before mining. Regular drone surveys can also help people understand how ecological restoration is going.

 

In 2015, drones have just begun to be used in mining applications and have already played a huge role. It is believed that in the near future, drones can become the standard configuration in various businesses such as reconnaissance, mining, and environmental protection.

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