Slope stability radar

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The Slope Stability Radar (SSR) is the application for the monitoring of slope stability at open-cut mines. It is a system currently in use across the global mining and civil industries.

A deformation plot showing slope instability using SSR

Slope stability is a critical safety and production issue for open-cut mines around the world to understand the probability of mine wall failures. Many fatalities have occurred in mining due to slope failure - sudden rock and wall collapses. Even when there is no injury, there is a high cost due to lost production and often damaged equipment. A common technique to determine slope stability is to monitor the small precursory movements, which occur prior to collapse.

Slope Stability Radar (SSR)[edit]

Slope Stability Radar, as a contemporary slope stability analysis tool, has been developed by Ground Probe to remotely scan a rock slope to monitor the spatial deformation of the face. Small movements of a rough wall can be detected with sub-millimeter accuracy by using interferometry techniques. The effects of atmospheric variations and spurious signals can be reduced via signal processing means. The advantage of the slope stability radar over other monitoring techniques is that it provides full area coverage without the need for mounted reflectors or equipment on the wall. In addition, the radar waves adequately penetrate through rain, dust and smoke to give reliable measurements, in real-time and twenty-four hours a day.

A series of time measurements over time can be used to track movement of the rock slopes, and also detect variations in the rate of movement, which indicate instability. The radar information can be combined with various other information on a graphical display. Typical examples are 3-D models of the rock surface or pictures of the slope being monitored.

SSR systems are used by mining companies of all sizes for active monitoring of critical slopes and background monitoring of general slopes. It combines the strength of both radar and photographic information to provide a full picture of how a slope is moving. The system uses radar to remotely measure the movement of wall surfaces and uses visual images to confirm and display the result. These measurements enable Geotechnical engineers and mine personnel to track slope movements and set alarms to improve safety and optimize productivity.

SSR systems are operated in the most extreme global conditions and diverse applications of open-pit mining. SSR is used in 19 different countries which include Australia, South Africa, North America, South America, China, Indonesia, India etc.

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