Two global mining operations separately contracted Woolpert for aerial mapping and surveying via manned and unmanned aircraft systems, the latter reported.

The imagery collected will assist in volumetric calculations, provide digital terrain information for autonomous hauling trucks, enable change-detection analysis, validate the locations of drill holes for blasting, and will provide a safer, more frequent and accurate accounting of mining progress, Woolpert reported.

Leadership at Woolpert said the ability to deploy UAS, both on scheduled flights and in response to immediate needs, aligns with the operational needs of the mines. “It’s all about identifying issues and marrying them with the right technologies to produce solutions,” Aaron Lawrence, program director, Woolpert, said. “UAS is the right technology to cost-effectively manage a mining operation.”