Open Cut » Environment
The uptake of real-time tools to manage environmental effects from the mining industry is increasing and there is a demand for reliable real-time upper air meteorological data for these tools to improve their accuracy and relevance to daily operations.
Upper air data are important as they greatly affect the transport of dust and fume emissions and the propagation of noise from a mine site. Understanding of the conditions in the upper air stream provides an insight into the prevailing conditions that affect the impact a mine may have at that time.
Obtaining real-time upper air meteorological data is a technically difficult and often costly exercise, which can involve the use of tall weather towers, or laser and radio sensing equipment. In most cases the required data are taken from prognostic meteorological models and not the actual environmental conditions, due to the relative cost savings of a model relative to measuring the conditions directly at the mine.
Prognostic model development has improved over time and is continuing to do so, however the accuracy of these forecast predictions is still imperfect and can be problematic when applied. Forecast predictions generally need a real-time reality check before they can be trusted for key decisions. The accuracy of meteorological modelling systems can be improved by increasing the quality of the input data used to drive the model.
Todoroski Air Sciences aims with this study to test whether it is possible to take actual real-time upper air data from a single sounder system in a central location, and to use a prognostic meteorological model to extend the data in semi-real time across a large region (hereafter referred to as the Project). The project aims to verify that the approach works and whether it could be extended to other regions.
The outcome of the project is the initial theory and development of a low cost tool which can provide reasonably accurate upper data at a mine at a small percentage of the cost of commissioning and operating actual monitoring equipment. The tool would be in the form of a prognostic meteorological model framework which can provide real-time upper air data for a region which, when combined with other data sources, would provide an opportunity for the development of accurate real-time dispersion model predictions for dust, fume, noise and overpressure.