Drones for safety in mining

Drone technology can give added value to solving some problems related to

  • safety of the mining industry workers,
  • load on natural environment and
  • influence the health of local inhabitants

as accidents or other challenging situations occur in mining.  

During the market analysis, micro-project DROSAMO identified common requirements shared by hazardous industries. These included:

  • Safety of Workers: Ensuring the well-being of employees operating in hazardous environments.
  • Optimized Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Procedures: Streamlining the assessment process to evaluate environmental effects.
  • Protective and Preventive Measures: Implementing safeguards to minimize risks.
  • Studying Pollutant Concentrations in the Atmosphere: Investigating the presence and impact of pollutants in hazardous settings.

To address safety challenges faced by workers, the project conducted autonomous navigation and mapping demonstrations in an underground mining environment. Using thermal cameras, sensors, SLAM technology, and 3D scanners, they successfully detected human beings and enabled 3D navigation within the mine. This robust and reliable autonomous navigation was crucial, especially in a GPS-denied and toxic mine environment.

Additionally, the project developed strategies for data collection during the EIA process in mines and formulated proactive maintenance approaches. To tackle the challenge of estimating air pollution levels in Apatity city, the DROSAMO team employed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling. This analysis provided valuable insights into predicted dust concentration levels, with particle sizes of up to 20 μm.

More information about the project is e.g. in KEEP database.

Project: Drone safety monitoring systems for Arctic mining (DROSAMO)

Lead partner: Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems – Subdivision of the Federal Research Center «Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences» (INEP KSC RAS)

Other partners:

  • Cherepovets State University
  • Centria University of Applied Sciences, Oulu
  • Luleå Technical University