Following a four year research and development phase, Groundradar has successfully delivered and installed the first ATEX-approved MineVue system to the Central Institute for Mining and Fuel Research in Dhanbad, India. The project is one of the largest ever undertaken for the development of a commercial GPR system in the world, and produced the world’s first low-frequency ATEX approved radar. It is expected that further installations in India will be forthcoming, based on the success of the first unit.
A two-year development and testing project is drawing to a close with the imminent delivery of the first MineVue long-range radar system to the Government of India. MineVue is the longest-range shielded radar system commercially available. It is also the first low-frequency Intrinsically Safe (ATEX) radar system in the world, suitable for use in underground coal mines.
Groundradar’s latest custom long-range radar system, MineVue, has been trialled extensively both above and underground at a series of Indian coal mines in Jharkand and West Bengal states. The system was able to detect abandoned coal workings at impressive depths in environments where complete radar shielding was required.
MineVue was also tested in Papua New Guinea and Australia, where the system was used to detect voids in limestone to depths of over 40 m in cluttered surroundings where traditional low-frequency unshielded radar systems would have been unsuitable. Although limestone is generally an excellent radar environment, some limestones, particularly those with a weathered mantle of clays, can prove problematic for traditional radar equipment. MineVue is a hybrid radar system comprising of a real-time sampling impulse radar as well as a pulse-compression radar which is completely shielded, easily portable, deep penetrating, and continuously tracked by DGPS.
A challenging laterite project in Indonesia where unshielded antennas have been unsuccessful was the site of further MineVue surveying. The results of trials were very encouraging, opening new applications for custom GPR instrumentation.
Groundradar’s new MineVue hybrid GPR system was used extensively at a number of coal mines in India to detect abandoned workings at impressive depths from both above and within mine tunnels. MineVue is an ATEX-approved, intrinsically-safe long-range GPR system designed specifically for deep void detection in mines where unshielded antennas are unsuitable. In nearly every open-pit mine where abandoned workings pose a geotechnical and safety issue, unshielded radar antennas are generally unsuitable due to the above-ground reflections from the near-by mine walls. Similarly, unshielded antennas are impossible to use underground due to the reverberations of reflections from the opposing tunnel walls. MineVue addresses these issues by using a highly effective, yet lightweight, shield, along with two advanced long-range radar systems on a single circuit board. Acquisition and data display is handled by a small Windows Mobile device, eliminating the need for bulky laptops.