The BlastMetriX UAV program is designed to allow quarries and mining operations to use unmanned-aerial-vehicle (UAV) technology for capturing 3D face profiles for enhanced visualization of large blast sites. The program does not require use of propriety UAVs, allowing use of existing or locally sourced drones for survey imaging. The system requires only the use of aerial targets or standard BlastMetriX 3D targets as reference points. According to the company, the low-flying UAV captures “multiple, data-rich, overlapping images to generate hundreds of thousands of data points for accurately characterizing typography of the surveyed area and creating a 3D profile of the face to ensure blast safety and performance.”
New users can order a standalone BlastMetriX UAV system that includes all necessary software for UAV surveying and blast design. Alternatively, existing BlastMetriX 3D users need only make a simple software upgrade to use UAV surveying capability. All captured images are downloaded directly to the computer, allowing BlastMetriX users to efficiently produce a blast design, says the system developer, and the designed blast can be geo-referenced and data sent directly to smart drills, improving drilling accuracy and driving down costs.
The system gives operations the flexibility to conduct surveys using either aerial, multi-photo images captured by the UAV or terrestrial images from a calibrated, digital, single-lens reflex camera, enabling surveying operations to continue regardless of no-fly-zone restrictions or inclement weather.
The BlastMetriX UAV system is designed to mitigate fly-rock issues, high air overpressures, excessive vibration, poor fragmentation, sub-par cast, loss of grade control, and wall damage. As a result of blast design optimization using BlastMetriX UAV, operations can realize significant benefits, including improved fragmentation, higher crusher production, and lower drilling manpower requirements, the company says.
The system gives operations advanced analytical tools for measuring blast performance, allowing programs to be optimized. BlastMetriX UAV offers pre/post blast comparisons, pre/post excavation reporting, spoil-pile assessment,.
The scalable BlastMetriX UAV software allows companies to integrate as much or as little technology as required. Capabilities can be expanded to meet an operation’s growing needs. Professional service, support and training of program use are provided by RAM, Inc. of Powell, Ohio. Additionally, RAM, Inc. conducts UAV ground schools to teach operators how to fly UAVs, prepares students for taking the FAA 107 pilot’s test, and to helps operations maximize use of UAV surveying technology.