A laser scanner used by forensic police to examine crime scenes has now been employed to keep open pit miners safe from collapsing walls.

In open cut mines, large walls can collapse without warning, and require constant monitoring from geotechnical engineers.

These engineers have previously had to rely on a range of tools to first identify areas at risk of collapse and then monitor the movement.

But the system developed by Australian company Maptek can scan movement across wide areas, showing how they change over the course of days, and display it for managers with clear graphics and visual information.

Laser systems consultant Jordan Herrmann said the software combined the laser's accuracy with detailed images on the screen to allow mine safety managers to monitor vast areas of mine walls in one take.

Source: ABC.net.au - see full article