on the job
There are few that do not understand the importance of
maintaining and improving upon our environment and keeping
tabs on those things that have an effect on the world we live
in. There’s an ongoing struggle to balance providing needed
services/manufacturing and maintaining the health of our planet.
The Northern Territory government in Australia has turned to
drones to monitor and document the state of some of the legacy
mines in the state. Several of these legacy mines pose major
environmental and public-safety risks. Also, abandoned open-cut mines can seriously affect the integrity of the surrounding
areas by weakening the bedrock and ground surfaces that
become degraded by extreme weather conditions. In response,
the Department of Primary Industry and Resources is using drone
technology to produce digital terrain models of these mines,
which not only enables detailed coverage of the affected sites
but also greatly improves the speed and efficiency of inspecting
the mines. Drones can easily reach sites that manned inspection
teams cannot, and they can be equipped to take high-resolution
digital photographs and video as well as carry various sensors to
produce digital terrain models.
The images and data the drones produce are also important
for managers to plan work and evaluate the risk factors at the
various legacy sites.
Around the world, natural-gas and petroleum pipelines in far-removed locales are another source of concern for those tasked
with monitoring their effects on the environment. From simply
getting high-elevation observations to using ultra-sensitive
chemical-detecting sensors, drones are now greatly improving
our ability to detect and deal with mechanical faults and defects
before they lead to costly and more widespread situations.
are always in the
news. Speedy and
and testing by drones
help keep them in
as well as keep the
Right: One of several
legacy mines in the
in Australia being
monitored by drones.