Mining Contract: Real-Time Hazard Recognition Using Video Gauge

This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.
Contract # 200-2016-90416
Start Date 9/1/2016
End Date 8/31/2018
Research Concept

In underground mines, it is often difficult to detect the small changes in mine strata that occur as geological conditions and mining operations alter the environment of the mine. When enough changes occur, rock bursts, ground falls, and other sudden events can have devastating consequences. A real-time, continual monitoring system could detect changes as they occur and provide valuable data to operators about an area's potential ground control hazards.

Topic Areas

Contract Status & Impact

This contract is complete. To receive a copy of the final report, send a request to

The objective of this contract is to use existing software technology to evaluate the shifting geologic conditions in a mining environment over a long term in order to identify ground control hazards. Currently, the Video Gauge software is used as a commercial video-monitoring package for materials, component, and structural testing. It has been used mostly for materials testing and structural applications in the transportation industry, and it has also been used in a mining environment for periods of up to a few minutes. The most similar use of Video Gauge to a long-term mining project thus far was the real-time monitoring of a subway tunnel during the boring of an adjacent tunnel. The software employs particular algorithms to track and calculate any changes in a given monitoring field.

This contract will apply the software—which uses pattern-recognition technology to detect minute changes in target positions—to an underground mine environment long term as a ground control hazard-recognition system. In addition to the software, the system includes a camera controller and up to four high-resolution digital cameras. Modifications will be required to prepare the technology for long-term use underground, including ensuring all aspects of the system are intrinsically safe.

Once in place, the software will scan and collect data from the field of view of each camera, and analyze the images of the covered area over time, thereby providing collecting digital information regarding ground stability and ground movement. Doing so will validate a video-based monitoring system for analyzing ground movement in underground mines in real time.

Page last reviewed: 8/1/2019 Page last updated: 2/1/2018