A tailings dam at an Australian mine had vibrating wire piezometers which were measuring the pore water pressure of the dam. Readings from the piezometers were being taken manually; however, the regularity of the readings was interrupted by harsh weather, site hazards, staffing, and related factors.
The mine managers needed to eliminate the roadblocks inherent with taking manual readings and achieve more continuous data that was reliable and accurate.
The monitoring area was wide and expansive with on-site civil construction being performed. Exposure to corrosive elements and extreme weather also had to be considered. The solution addressed all these issues and ultimately worked harmoniously with the customer’s existing SCADA & instrumentation – all while providing automated real-time site monitoring capabilities from a remote location.
RST and its Australian partner, HMA Geotechnical, provided RST’s ‘RSTAR’ Radio Array System as a ‘turn-key’ data collection solution. It addressed all the site’s challenges and met the user’s requirements, enabling them to improve their decision-making and increase productivity without sacrificing safety.
The nodes’ data loggers were powered by a single lithium ‘D’ cell which provides years of power. Automated, reliable, and accurate sensor data was sent in real-time to the user’s desktop PC – allowing for quick decision-making and data analysis from a remote site. Direct support/service was provided by HMA, in addition to RST’s technical expertise and support/service.
Successful implementation of the RSTAR System; it performs readings as scheduled without interruption. The logistics and costs associated with performing manual readings at the tailings dam have been decreased through automation. Coverage over the expansive monitoring area was addressed by the use of Yagi antennas installed at node level. Signals are transmitted to the Hub, which is nearly 2km away from the farthest node. Potential disruptions to the mining operations are now minimized.