August 2015 – Indoor Stockpile Volumes
NQ UAV has recently completed aerial volume data capture trials with major multinational company at the Townsville Port, Queensland. Traditionally, the client estimates the volume of storage stockpiles through image processing of ground captured data. However, limitation exists for proximity and access around stockpiles for OH&S and operational reasons. A novel approach to determining the volume of the clients storage stockpiles was undertaken utilising Unmanned Aerial Vehicles(UAV).
Data was captured using one of NQ UAV’s smaller aircraft, allowing a much larger operating envelope and increasing safety margins inside the storage sheds. Photogrammetry was used to reconstruct the data, producing points clouds, akin to 3D models of the stockpiles. From this, the volume of the stockpile was able to be determined and returned to the client in less than 4 hours, providing keys benefits to the clients operations.
The result? A 1.5% error in volume across a close to 4000 tonne bulk material stockpile.
It should be noted that these stockpiles are found inside large sheds with access down a single side. Clearances between the slopes of the stockpiles and the roof of the shed are no more than 5m vertically. Lighting inside is through a few flood lights and cloudy skylights. The overall length of the stockpile was more than 150m long. This was a high risk operation and required our most experienced crew to communicate clearly and efficiently to ensure that the operation was conducted safely and met the mission objectives.
NQ UAV provide volume determination services for a wide range of applications, including stockpiles, tailings dams, open volumes of pits and quarrying applications.