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Recent advances in slope monitoring radar for open-pit mines

Paper from the Proceedings of Mine Closure Solutions 2014 conference held in Ouro Preto, Brazil, April 26-30, 2014. (downloadable PDF).

Authors: Paolo Farina, Niccolò Coli, Francesco Coppi, Francesco Babboni, and Lorenzo Leoni, IDS Ingegneria Dei Sistemi SpA, Italy; Thiago Marques and Felipe Costa, IDS Brasil Engenharia de Sistemas Ltda, Brazil

Published by InfoMine Inc. 2014.
ISBN: 978-0-9917905-4-8


Slope monitoring radar has emerged in the last 10 years as a leading-edge tool for safety-critical monitoring of pit wall movements in surface mining because of its ability to rapidly measure slope movements and displacement with sub-millimetric accuracy over wide areas in any weather conditions, obviating the need to install artificial reflectors.

Thanks to the improved performance of the new generation of slope monitoring radar based on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology, the standard concept of critical monitoring has now reached a new dimension by integrating multiple SAR units to achieve full monitoring coverage of the entire pit. The previous generation of real aperture radar (RAR) provided useful information on areas of concern for slope stability and required constant relocation.

The new full pit monitoring concept (FPM 360), recently developed by IDS, employs the unique capabilities of SAR and expands the idea of critical monitoring by giving users a universal image of pit wall stability by covering the entire pit slope scenario with a few radar units, continuously scanning from semi-permanent installations with scan times of less than three minutes. This unique functionality is a first for radar monitoring, providing a vast amount of information of the entire pit wall in almost real time. The capabilities of slope monitoring radar based on SAR can be used effectively in the pit and waste dumps and tailings of both operating and closed mines.

The main technical features of typical slope monitoring radar based on the SAR technology are presented in this paper along with recent case studies of successful slope monitoring in open-pit mines.

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