Vibration Monitoring and Data Management Solutions for Mine Management

Re:mote Monitoring Technology

The drilling and blasting component at most mining operations generates a large volume of data from a single event.  One blast event can generate reports on blast design, drilling logs, seismic records, blast video, weather data, complaint information, and production analysis to name a few. Typically, this information is collected and then filed unless a specific problem occurs to warrant a deeper evaluation of the collected information.  Given the level of effort taken to collect this data, a proactive evaluation of the information would be more beneficial to a mining operation rather than a reactive response. GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech has developed a Re:mote vibration monitoring system with web-based data management.  This service provides efficient, cost-effective data collection while placing the responsibility of gathering quality data in the hands of third-party experts.  The Re:mote monitoring system provides turn-key monitoring, analysis and reporting of ground vibration and air overpressure data.  

How are Re:mote Vibration Monitoring System Deployed?

Remote Vibration monitoring systems are deployed as fence line monitors or at the closest residential structures of concern.  All Re:mote monitoring stations are housed in custom built security enclosures that are stand-alone units powered by a 12 volt deep-cycle battery and solar charger.  The development of solar powered, remote-accessible monitoring stations allows for permanent placement of a reliable, consistent setup. 

How do you get your field data with the Re:mote Monitoring Technology?

Through the use of wireless technology, data is uploaded to a customized website. This service provides quick access to blast data and analysis with instant posting to a password-encoded webpage. A notification system can also be implemented to alert mine personnel of the vibration and air overpressure results via email or text message after a blast event. 

How do you manage your data with Re:mote Technology?

This cloud based computing system allows for storage and retrieval of all your blast related data as well as the ability to mine the data.  Data mining is the process of analyzing data from different perspectives and summarizing it into useful information.  This information can be used to make engineering or business decisions on the drilling and blasting program.  

Clients have access to a customized website that stores all Re:mote monitoring data. Seismic data and corresponding blasting logs are available in an organized, sortable manner. Numerous graphs are available to view historical trend analyses that can help identify areas of the pit that may require a change in blast design before serious problems arise.  Compliance graphics allow for at-a-glance feedback on how a blasting program conforms to applicable ground vibration and air overpressure limits.  If you are away from the office and your computer, GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech even has a smart phone app allows you to access your data using your Android or iphone.

The database also allows the user to input data relative to the blast design.  This information can be printed on a customized blast form but more importantly this data can be queried, sorted and plotted on a base map of the mine showing the location of each blast that fits the input sorting parameters.  For example, the database could be queried to show all blasts in a particular date range having a particle velocity greater than 12.5 mm/sec and a scaled distance greater than 50.

Another component of the website is a complaint management database and reporting system.  If complaints are received by the operation, it becomes necessary to gather information from the nearby property owner.  Information such as the name, address, and phone number of the claimant can be entered into the database.  In addition, information on the nature of the claim, date and time of the incident, and action required can also be recorded.  If GPS coordinates of the claimant are entered a base map of the mine showing the claimant location and the blast in question will be displayed.  The complaint map shows the location of all complaints along with their current status.  

Does this technology provide better vibration control?

In the early 1980’s, GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech pioneered the research on single-hole signature analysis and became the first company to offer this service commercially.  Utilizing the Re:mote vibration monitoring equipment this analysis can now be offered at any mining location worldwide. The Vibra-Map™ technique allows for computer simulation of thousands of potential blast designs that can be evaluated at each Re:mote monitoring location.  The vibrations from each single hole shot being fired in a certain area of the pit will produce ground vibrations with a resulting frequency spectrum dictated by the source/receiver path (geology).   Testing has found that this frequency spectrum or geologic response is primarily a function of the overburden thickness.   Because houses amplify only certain frequencies, it is possible to synthesize the frequency spectrum from hundreds of potential blast designs for each location of concern, and identify the blast patterns least likely to affect the neighboring houses.  By reducing the amount that the houses shake, complaints are reduced.  This integrated approach of available technologies provides an intelligent, scientific solution for blast vibration remediation.

What other Re:mote™ Monitoring applications exist that can benefit my operation?

Many mining operations have a need to collect, report, and share data on various aspects of the operation for environmental, safety, or production reasons.  Operations deploy sensors to monitor slope movement at open pit mines, water levels in wells, pH levels in settling ponds and noise or dust levels from fence line monitors.  Often measurements are taken manually or by data loggers that must be visited to download their information.  The GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech Re:mote infrastructure allows for integration of data from many types of sensors  in a single comprehensive mining database.  The picture above is an example of a Re:mote weather station that captures wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and rainfall amounts.   Data from the weather station can be integrated into the same website as the vibration and blasting data.  Weather variable from the time of the blast can be quickly assessed and correlated to air overpressure data and complaints to the operation.  

The Re:mote infrastructure has also been utilized to collect geotechnical data from strain gauges, tilt monitors, piezometers, inclinometers, and extensometers.  Applications include monitoring structures for movement; water levels in slopes, dams, wells or ponds; monitoring settlement or soil movement; or measuring the movement of cracks or joints in structures.  Environmental monitoring applications include monitoring particulate matter (PM2.5 or PM10) or collecting noise data at fence line locations around an operation; monitoring conductivity, pH, temperature, or turbidity in streams, ponds, or wells; or monitoring atmospheric conditions.  Basically, if there is a monitoring application that utilizes a voltage output sensor, this sensor can be read from the Re:mote data logger, the corresponding data can be archived and a customized website develop.  Remote™ communication with site loggers not only makes it possible to collect, analyze, and report monitoring data in a cost-effective manner but also allows for notification if warning levels are reached.