From The Editor: Remote Volumes and Access

A 844Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

It has been said that construction and mining is the world's largest manufacturer, for example, heavy highway and site construction manufacture roads, bridges and building sites. Quarries manufacture materials and mines manufacture and produce materials used in high tech items such as smart phones and smart bombs. Combined, the economic value of all construction and mining surpasses 10 trillion dollars, and it becomes obvious that even a few cents per ton saved on coal production, for example, has huge benefits.

The technology landscape is constantly evolving at an ever-accelerating rate as mining and construction companies pursue efficient methods to refine their operations. Site connectivity, 3D machine control using axial sensors, inertial measurement units (IMU), GNSS/ GPS, and stroke-sensing cylinders are just a few examples. And these technologies are well-documented at machinecontrolonline.com. But another exciting technology is the use of satellite imagery for performing topographic mapping and volume calculations once conducted only by ground surveying and aerial photogrammetry.

At the Esri User Conference we met Gerry Mitchell, the founder of the Canadian company PhotoSat. Gerry spent many years with BP and in 1993, left to form his own company. Harnessing the unbelievable computing power developed for oil exploration, PhotoSat has found a way to create topographic maps from satellite images with a vertical accuracy of 20-30 centimeters. And from that, the Holy Grail of mining: volumes. This is a classic case of the transfer of technology between different technical fields resulting in a significant breakthrough, and you can read all about it in our lead cover feature. I suspect the photogrammetry and UAV community will view this development with keen interest.

As this printed issue of Machine Control Magazine arrives at your door, or electronically in your Inbox, I will be attending the first two days of the Asia-Pacific's International Mining Exhibition (AIMEX) in Sydney, Australia. I also plan to attend the China International Mining Exposition (CIME) in Beijing, China September 4-6. Drop me an email if you plan to attend either event.

Because these advancements feed our passion at Machine Control Magazine, we are always on the lookout for new technology. I hope we contribute to feeding your passion as well. Enjoy your new issue!

Randy Noland
Managing Editor/Cofounder

A 844Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

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