Open Cut

Estimation of True Deformation Vector from Slope Radar Monitoring

Open Cut » Geology

Published: April 20Project Number: C27046

Get ReportAuthor: Marc Elmouttie, Peter Dean, Matt Van De Werken | CSIRO

Slope deformation radar monitors are now widely used in open cut coal mining for monitoring highwall and low wall deformations. Their introduction has facilitated better management of risk associated with slope failure during mining and therefore protection of personnel and equipment. A well recognised problem is that radar monitors only measure deformation directed towards the detector - line of sight bias. This bias can lead to misinterpretation of deformation size, rate and failure mechanism, and therefore miscalculation of failure volume, which can significantly impact safety and productivity.  Current methods to compensate for the bias make potentially inaccurate assumptions about the deformation vector relative to the wall/slope orientation. Using multiple slope monitors to observe the same region of highwall or low wall can address this problem but this is rarely done due to the expense associated with deploying multiple monitors for the one zone.

This project has investigated the feasibility of a low cost solution based on CSIRO research on a patent-pending method. By integrating a computer vision system with an existing slope monitor, high precision tracking of features in the field of view can be performed. Combined with assumptions on the deformation characteristics, the true deformation vector can be estimated. This project field tested and quantified the performance of a prototype system. It assessed the implementation options (usage of cameras currently installed with radar monitors versus retrofitting of higher performing cameras).

Experiments at Site A demonstrated the efficacy of the approach for monitoring both oblique and transversely oriented failures in a low wall dump. Even using post-processed and compressed imagery, the computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion technique clearly demonstrated 3D vector estimation which was consistent with the surface type failure being observed. Site B focussed on the use of the technique using raw, high resolution imagery to obliquely monitor a deeper seated multi-bench failure, in a hard-rock environment. The method clearly detected deformation perpendicular to the radar with deformations significantly greater than those measured along the line-of-sight. The derived 3D deformation vectors were consistent with both an understanding of the failure mechanism as well as previous measurements undertaken using a dual-radar system.

Through fusion of vision and radar data, it has been also demonstrated that at least millimetre precision at a range of around 500m can be achieved but it is expected much greater ranges can be supported with suitably chosen optics. This then supports estimation of 3D deformation vectors with equivalent angular precisions.

An integrated solution has been designed as part of this project, including a high-level requirements analysis. Consultation on this project with GroundProbe and IDS GeoRadar has ensured that the proposed solution is implementable on at least a significant fraction of existing radar systems. Finally, the STPA (System-Theoretic Process Analysis) process has been applied to help identify and mitigate potentially undesirable system states that may arise through this fused sensor approach.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C19024Establishing Ecologically Sustainable Mine Water Release Criteria In Seasonally Flowing Streams

Extreme rainfall conditions in the Fitzroy Catchment over an approxi...

C25030Coal Mine Open Pit Final Void Closure And Relinquishment - Addressing Uncertainty In Coal Mine Environmental Planning

This report addresses uncertainties faced by coal mine operators whe...

C27046Estimation Of True Deformation Vector From Slope Radar Monitoring

Slope deformation radar monitors are now widely used in open cut coa...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C16043Estimation Of Steady State And Dynamic Dense Medium Cyclone Performance

Please note that the simulator that forms part of this report i...

C27004Improving Coal Flotation With Oscillatory Air Supply

This report provides detailed information on coal flotation with os...

C25018Improving Solids Recovery And Moisture Reduction In Ultrafine Coal Dewatering

This report provides detailed information on fine coal dewatering in...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C26039Nanoporosity In Cokes: Their Origin, Control And Influence On CO2 Reactivity

This project using the outcomes of previous project C24060, examine...

C28063A Comprehensive Technical Review Of High-Efficiency Low-Emission (HELE) Pulverised Coal Combustion Technologies For Power Generation

Research and development has been undertaken worldwide to realise co...

C28064Carbon Structure Transformation During Coking Of Australian Coking Coals: Better Understanding The Coke Formation

Carbon structures of coke that are formed during the plastic layer a...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL) - Phase 2 Demonstration In A Packed Bed Reactor

An alternative approach to high temperature oxidation of ventilation...

C26004CFD Modelling Of Reverse Thermal Oxidisers For VAM Abatement - CFD Modelling Of Fixed-Bed RTO Devices

The project is part of a larger multi‐phase program of study a...

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook