Wood uses Delair's UX11 UAS for mining and quarry projects

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Wood, a provider of project, engineering and technical services to the energy, industry and built environment sectors, has adopted Delair’s UX11 UAS for its work in site planning and asset management in mining and quarry projects in the western part of the United States. This is the first fixed-wing UAS that Wood has deployed in the Western U.S.

Initially, Wood is using the UAS to conduct high accuracy, 3D topographic surveys and materials quantification for mineral mining in Idaho and Wyoming.

“For the scale of the projects we are performing, and the accuracy required, adopting the Delair UX11 was a logical choice,” says Greg Meinecke, technical services manager at Wood.

“Its long-range capabilities allow us to cover areas not feasible with other data collection methods like hover craft drones or by foot, so it reduces the cost and time involved.”

The UAS is being deployed in remote areas where Wood’s heavy civils team is performing extensive excavation and site preparation for phosphate mining activities. This project covers more than 200 acres.

The ability to precisely quantify the volume of materials being removed is especially important for these operations, to make sure that there is a high degree of accuracy in planning and invoicing.

According to Delair, Wood selected its fixed-wing UAS for several reasons, including to deal with the scale of the terrain that needed to be surveyed. The UAS was also selected to address the challenge of taking measurements in an active mine site area, including the safety hazards of having personnel on the ground in rough terrain and around large, moving equipment.

The UAS flew 400 feet above the project areas, often at times using beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight plans, allowing Wood technicians to use the precision data collection features of the Delair UX11 to acquire large amounts of highly accurate imagery that could be processed to generate detailed topographical reports.

“We are able to get surveys covering large tracts of land done in a very short amount of time, so it ends up being much more cost effective for us and the client,” Meinecke says.

“More importantly, we can provide the mine owners a great deal of confidence in the accuracy of the work being performed and the quantities of resources involved. In the end, everyone agreed on the material quantities as the technology is very reliable.”