Evaluation of a drone-based method for safe and cost-effective monitoring of surface water flows in mine recipients



Ida Westerberg


Purpose and goal

This pre-study aims to test and evaluate an innovative new method for improving the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of surface water flow monitoring using drone imagery techniques.

Expected results and effects

We expect that this feasibility study leads to a better understanding of the potential for drone-based measurements of surface water flows in mining recipients. This applies to both the method´s potential to be able to improve data quality more quickly, be able to measure more cost-effectively, and to have a safer working environment.

Planned approach and implementation

We plan to test and evaluate the ability of low-cost drone camera technology (so called structure from motion techniques) to provide high-quality input data for physically-based hydraulic flow modelling and its potential to thereby improve surface water flow monitoring. The project will test this new technology at a station monitoring one of the recipient water bodies of the LKAB Kiruna mine in northern Sweden. We will evaluate its potential for improving data quality, safe working environment, and cost-effectiveness in monitoring mine effects on local water bodies.

Presentation slides from Swedish Mining Innovation Day 2020