The focus of this project is on researching and integrating the ability to map out the geometry of excavations. The research team aimed to localise a man-portable Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) unit while scanning was conducted on the hanging wall. 

The objective of the AOK programme is to enable real-time, 3D GPR mapping of the immediate hanging wall, possibly in combination with other sensors such as thermal scanners, and as part of routine entry examinations and routine hanging wall integrity monitoring.

Research and development

The research team evaluated the applicability and feasibility of promising deployment platforms. They identified the most suitable combinations of sensor technologies and deployment platforms and required modifications. The team collaborated with the research teams of 3D GPR and positioning studies to evaluate the performance and applicability of the selected platform. The team investigated the integration of co-dependent technologies. The team also conducted simulated or stope testing. The CSIR “Monster” platform was tested in a stimulated underground environment at the CSIR in Pretoria. The team developed a man-portable unit that incorporates a LiDAR sensor and the GPR unit. The team conducted a focussed literature review on the use of machine learning techniques to evaluate and process GPR data.


With the optimal extraction and ‘’zero harm’’ objectives, technologies are being investigated, such as the Ground Penetrating Radar, to assist with identifying potential hazards on the mining face. There will also be a focus on positioning systems to enable scanning/assessment of the hanging wall integrity. GPR 3D modelling trial surveys will be conducted and, with Infrared (IR)/Thermography, one would be able to enrich GPR information. Attention will also be given to positioning systems so as to enable scanning/assessment of the hanging wall integrity. The deployment platforms with associated positioning systems will enable fast acquisition of georeferenced 3D data sets.

This research was commissioned to the CSIR. Researchers involved include principle geophysicist, Michael Van Schoor, senior engineer, Stephen Marais, and principle engineer,
Dr Shaniel Davrajh.


This project has been completed.