ReMon - Remote Monitoring of Tailings Using Satellites and Drones

ReMon (Remote Monitoring of Tailings Using Satellites and Drones) is funded by the “ZIM” Network “Zentrale Innovation Mittelstand” which is translated to “Central Innovation Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)” this is a funding programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. ReMon project partners are the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, The University Potsdam and BEAK Consultants GmbH. 

ReMon aims at developing a prototypical monitoring system for mine tailings. The monitoring system will be a combination of software and hardware packages. Different sensors scaling from satellite- to drone-based will be integrated into a product primarily aiming at the mining sector. 

Globally, a rising demand for industrial products results in the increased mining activity for the needed resources. This mining activity creates tailing sites of waste material and material that accumulates from processing remnants. Both of which can turn out to be re-minable in the future. To prevent unwanted releases of said waste or unwanted interaction with the proximate environment, mine tailings have to be clearly separated and contained. A monitoring in a high temporal resolution of the chemical and spatial extent of the tailing is a requisite here. Local sampling and subsequent laboratory analyses are primarily done here and limit the extent and temporal resolution of the monitoring. A timely, low-cost and accurate solution could be the methodology developed in ReMon. 

In ReMon, two sensors acquire drone-based data. A VNIR hyperspectral sensor from Cubert GmbH and a thermal infra-red sensor from FLIR Systems Ltd. are mounted on a drone platform by Coptersquad (CORTEX AS-X8 multicopter). Thus acquired spectral surface data is fed into the artificial neuronal network of the advangeo® Prediction Software and connected to available geo-data from below the surface.