Digital Guide Alignment


In the article, we cover key transformation outcomes for shaft management:

  • Create a shaft digital twin accurate within a millimeter
  • Reduce or remove workers from the shaft 
  • Proactive Management that save workers, time, and money
  • Traceable variance reports that drive work orders to manage shaft

Shaft Measurement Reimagined

Our innovation team has spent the last 24 months putting into practice high-fidelity shaft measurement using the latest lidar technology. This approach provides a millimeter of accuracy wow generating top to bottom 3D model oh the targeted compartment.

Using a proven approach our field teams can delivery a new level of shaft detail: 

  • New digital asset for Shaft Management that captures accurate within a millimeter.
  • Reduce worker time required in the shaft. 
  • Generate 5 core comparative measurements from set to set.
  • Provide a variance report from set to set that supports the development of proactive work orders to manage the shaft.

New Digital Deliverables 

This new approach had at its roots the reduction of live work in the shaft. While we recognize in shaft inspection will always be required this approach allows a major reduction in the requirement for interval measurements shaft management workers.

In return it allows for the collection of a unique set of deliverables at whatever frequency the shaft management team deems appropriate. The results include: 

  • Shaft 3D model (PTS or PTX format) by set. 
  • 360 Video by set. 
  • DXF measurements
    • Face to Face 
    • Guide Alignment,
    • Bunton, 
    • Divide, 
    • Guide width & depth).
  • Findings Summary Table to support Work Order Definition.

The Implications 

Creating a new Digital Asset for any site: SafeSight can now create a new Shaft Digital Asset that creates an accurate baseline to the mm after a new construction or refurbishment of any shaft or shaft compartment. This digital asset can be used over the life of the shaft. 

Digital Guide Alignment;  Our digital alignment capability will allow for a 1mm alignment of the guides. For a 3000 ft shaft this takes approximately 10 hrs of data collection and 24hrs of processing. The result is the identification of specific points of variance from the headframe for the length of the shaft.

Regression Data and compare is now possible. Trends and aggregation can support more effective management and operations 

Reduce Shaft Guide Stockpile: Digital shaft measurement done at least twice annual can create enough guide insight to allow for more precise guide inventory and lower inventory requirements. That means less guides in inventory. 

The next logical step in shaft management is the application of LiDAR technology for safe, proactive shaft measurement.


Underground Mapping Applied

Our mapping drone has been in production since 2018 and has supported some amazing digital transformation.

The benefits of in motion LiDAR are dramatic in terms of safety and productivity: 

  • Survey 4 times faster – The scan of a typical stope using Drone based LiDAR is 15 minutes from arrival, setup, scan, and withdrawal compared to the 45 minutes using traditional CMS.
  • Reduced Shadowing – Drone based LiDAR survey captures 90% to 100% of the stope area. Ground based CMS is often limited to 80% or less. 
  • Double Survey Crew Capacity – Crew capacity can double with no change in staffing because of faster survey underground and reduced work on surface.
  • Safe Access – Crews can now survey in areas that were previously not safely accessible. 
  • Improved reconciliation – Crews can scan stopes multiple times during development to better monitor over/under scenarios.

The figures below show the comparison between traditional CMS (in red) and the LiDAR drone scan (in blue)

Maximized Use Cases Underground 

Maximizing any return-on-investment means ensuring that the investment can be applied effectively. 

Effective application of drone technology means maximizing the flight potential and the number of situations in which flight is possible. 

SafeSight’s DB4 underground mapping drone is designed to ensure it can be leveraged in as many situations as possible. These include: 

  • Narrow access as small as 1.5mX1.5m
  • The ability to operate were there are leads, and obstacles in the drift or stope.
  • Adaptability to ground, hand or wench-based delivery to ensure you can always gather the data. 

Features and functions that support maximum application of LiDAR technology underground are a key to ROI.

What’s often overlooked by Sites as they select high tech solutions is “support and Service Levels.”

High Availability Matters 

Technology can be a great enabler of business transformation however if the solution is not highly available and reliable it can be a business “disabler”. 

You can’t demonstrate ROI is your technology is out for repair or support. 

Equipment Outage:  Over the past 3 years we have tracked our service and support through our internal and Client facing support technology. The data shows our drones are typically in service and ready to use 99% of the operational window in which they can be used.  

Service Levels: Service and Client satisfaction are critical and tracking measurable service and support data has helped us build better solutions and ensure we respond quickly to any service interruption or service request. 

Vertical Mining Innovation

Changing the MRC Safety Model

How do you dramatically reduce the level of risk and increase the worker safety when developing a raise or a pass with a Mechanical Raise Climber ? 

By deploying the MRC Rail Runner V2 that how. Our newest release of the Rail Runner now supports gas detection with and embedded Dragger XM5000 and full 3D point cloud capability, with Georeferencing.

These features address 3 key risks with SafeSight’s MRC Rail Runner: 

  • Air quality at the face post blast 
  • Identification of any Loose 
  • Remove Surveyors from harms way during the development. 

On the Rail 

Once activated the MRC RR can be integrated into standard operating procedures at the beginning of a shift or the end or both for maximum safety. 

Step 1 and Step 7 on the diagram above creates two opportunities to assess the raise. The first at the beginning of the shift to confirm the shift plan and ensure raise conditions are “known” and safe. 

The second at the end of the shift can be used to execute a survey of the raise based on the last successful round. 

At a rate of 3ft per minute the assessment does not put the shift plan and risk and in both cases ensures air, loose and orientation of the development are safe and on plan. 

Leveraging Collective Intelligence 

The video, image and point cloud data can be view on your Rail Runner tablet. The gas peak readings can be reviewed once the unit has returned to the nest. With access to your site network (underground or on surface) the data can be loaded to the MINED SIGHT portal (Step B). 

The Portal provides a cloud-based solution that allows your organization to leverage oversight and expertise from anywhere at anytime. 

Geotechnical and Supervisors can review and monitor best practice and safety related to: 

  • The rail installation
  • Drill pattern
  • Rail orientation 
  • Overall Development safety 

Once in operation the MRC RR will reduce the level of risk and increase the worker safety when developing a raise or a pass with a Mechanical Raise Climber

Mine Rescue and Emergency Response

New Tools for a New Age

Mine Rescue and Emergency Response has continued to develop and evolve the performance and sophistication of their people, processes, and tools. Much attention has been dedicated to improvements to breathing apparatus to increase capacity and responder safety when in harms way.  

SafeSight has dedicated several years of development, field application and Responder input to add a new set of leading edge tools that extends the reach and range of Mine Rescue but reduces the Responders need to be in harms way. 

  • Drone technology for Search and Assessment from a safe operating point 
  • Remote Deployment of Fire Suppression 
  • Thermal and LiDAR technology to map the active incident. 

Creating Dynamic Response 

With the SafeSight Emergency Tool kit deployed Responders will have a wide range of response alternatives. Finding the fastest and safest incident response can be the difference between rescue and recovery. 

By Air 

Aerial inspection is possible through our emergency response drone. This micro unit with gas sensing, thermal imaging and high-definition video allows for remote reconnaissance of any incident environment inspecting for 8 signatures air quality and then overall assessment of the incident environment.

If, however Flight is not possible all this technology can be deployed for remote ground based inspection.

On the Ground 

Our DeepTraxx-Fire Response unit provides remote deployment of three formats of response. 

Thermal Model: The unit can be deployed with the emergency response drone payload. This allows for ground collection of air quality, thermal imaging, and high-definition video.

Mapping Mode: By integrating our SafeScanner technology with the DeepTraxx-Fire Response Responder’s can create a real-time 3D model the entire incident environment. A 3D model can then be used to analyzed and determine a response. 

Finally in active fire the DeepTraxx-Fire Response can be deployed with selected nozzles and connected to water supply to provide a suppressing fog or a water curtain that can assist the responder approach to fire management.

New Tools for new options in effective Emergency Response means increased Responder safety and improved reach and range in Search and Rescue on surface or underground.

SafeSight Safety Share: Shop Fire

Situational Details:

Fire occurred in an underground operations room.
Travel Time from surface to Fire: 30 minutes 

Crews responded to fight the fire. First water suppression was used and found to be ineffective. Then a barricade was built to fill the area with firefighting foam. The foam did not seem to be reaching the fire. It was decided to seal the shop in with a vent wall. Spray foam was used to plug any gaps.

At the time of engagement all workers were brought to surface safely because of the hard work of Ontario mine rescue members and support personnel.

The Environment: 

  • Initial readings of the sealed vent wall were 90 Co
  • The temp of the front rims was 90 Co 
  • The engine compartment of the scoop was 300 Co.

Temp readings once crews entered and actively cooled the area was 32 Co wet bulb.

No visibility due too smoke

LZ was 50M from source. 

The Challenge: 

The Response team needed a way to validate that the fire was out before removing the barricade aid that was choking the fire from air. The oxygen restricting barricade had been created at a 90-degree bend in the drift at approximately 50 meters from suspected the fire source. traditional methods would require breaking the barrier and possibly oxygenating the fire and putting personnel at risk to determine the status and potential of the fire.

Since the actual source of the fire was not known a proper inspection would require a bird’s eye view of the target and surrounding areas. This information would be critical in supporting a decision to breach the barrier and move to the process of cooling and cleaning up the emergency while ensuring there was no risk to responders.

The Action & Results

SafeSight’s Emergency Response drone (ERD) was dispatched on a six-person team. There was greatly reduced visibility around the scoop. Handheld thermal camera stuck through a small hole in the vent wall could not determine the source of the fire and if it was indeed out. Line out sight confirmation was not possible due to smoke. 

Pilot was able to set up and dispatch the unit in air within 2 minutes. The drone was compact enough that it was deployed without breaking fee barrier and thereby maintaining the oxygen restriction on the fire. With no visibility the flight was completed using infrared capabilities that allowed for effective navigation in the environment.

The flight lasted approximately 1 min and 20 sec the drone flew from the barricade approximately 30 meters to the target equipment area. 

After validating the fire was out on the 4-yard scoop. The drone repositioned to confirm the 8-yard scoop was not affected. The drone was able to confirm it was not affected by the fire. 

The ERD was able to achieve 3 critical outcomes within 15minutes of arriving on scene. 

  • Inspection of the target area and equipment 
  • Maintained the oxygen restricting barrier
  • Confirmation the fire was out with no risk to responders 

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    Bigger Truck, More Muck

    More and more of our clients are looking to introduce larger equipment underground. 

    The immediate benefits are clear – more muck per truck means more tons per day. The real challenge is; will the new equipment fit in the existing ramps and drifts?  Answering this question impacts the overall Return on Investment(ROI) and the work to put these bigger units into full operation. Understanding the effort and cost of maintenance to move utilities, venting and any other obstacles could neutralize or delay the realization of benefits. 

    At SafeSight we not only develop innovative solutions we also apply the technology we build to solve industry problems. Responding to this challenge was a perfect application of our SafeSight’s in motion LiDAR. HEAT MAP utility. 

    The Approach: 

    The easy part was capturing a geo-referenced scan of the target areas (Ramps, drifts and Shops. Using our in-motion scanner SafeSight is able to scan the areas quickly with minimum impact to operations. 

    With a 3D model construct the next requirement is to render a model of the target equipment. The model needs to reflect load and unload configurations as well as calculate the turning radius in each instance.  

    We work with the client to identify the tolerance levels for the impact assessment regarding possible maintenance points. For example this means identifying how close to “contact” would be considered as: 

    • RED = contact
    • YELLOW = within 3 cm 
    • GREEN. > 3 cm from contact

    The two models are then sliced into small segments and each segment is assessed against the Client defined tolerances. 


    This data will support the production of a HEAT MAP to support work order and maintenance estimates. 

    Once the data is collected, our team uses utilities to overlay equipment dimensions (blue construct) on slices of the 3D model created by SafeSight’s SafeScanner. 

    The result is a visual “heat map” is produced and identifies collision and near miss points. Red, yellow and green reflect proximity values set by the client. This data can be attached to maintenance work orders and used to visually confirm the details and develop estimates for remediation.

    Mine Rescue Transformation

    SafeSight is releasing a new innovative Drone Solution to support the transformation of Emergency Response and Mine Rescue underground and on surface.

    The Scout-Emergency Response Drone (ERD) is designed to quickly provide first responders critical information to make life saving decisions and keep people safe.

    The ERD allows rescue crews to rapidly deploy and gather high definition video of an incident or rescue situation. The collected video intelligence is available immediately to rescue crews and shareable with experts on surface.

    “Rescue or Recovery is a fundamental decision point for any emergency or mine rescue response team. The ERD is a specific Drone Solution to support a dramatically improved response while keeping rescue crews safe” according to Isaac Paul, SafeSight’s Lead Underground Aviator. 

    The Scout-ERD is designed to meet Rescue fundamentals:

    • Small and light and fitting into a custom backpack, the ERD is an easy grab and go execution for Rescue crews who are already heavily loaded with response equipment.
    • Plug and play launch capability for quick and easy deployment.
    • Critical situation and logistical data can be gathered to support decision making at the incident and in collaboration with surface support.
    • Ease of use, hover capability minimizes the level of expertise of the operator and supports operational success and data gathering. 

    “We used the success of our underground scout inspection drone and insight from client safety experts to develop and build the Scout -ERD. For SafeSight, it was a natural transition in keeping with our intent to develop and use the latest technologies to make every mine site safer. With that in mind, the ERD was built to be the best solution as well as affordable to every mine” says Jamieson McCausland, SafeSight’s VP of Technology.

    Dave Poulin, Newmont Porcupine’s Emergency Response Specialist, stated “we were very pleased collaborating with SafeSight’s innovations team to deploy solutions that are designed with safety in mind. They provided critical and practical operational information to our responders to ensure they can perform their activities without having to place themselves in harm’s way.”

    Pleased with the accomplishment, Mike Campigotto, SafeSight’s President stated “the ERD is a powerful asset and a big step in supporting mine safety leadership and mine rescue responders. We believe this will become a critical component of the mine rescue and mine safety tool kit”. 

    SafeSight continues to work diligently toward supporting the digital transformation in mining through innovation and continuous improvements. SafeSight’s ERD is now shipping globally. 

    Simulated example of a mine rescue situation using a SafeSightXP Scout-Emergency Response Drone.
    Scout-Emergency Response Drone in action.