Mining and Nuclear Waste

Surface and underground facility monitoring for safe operations, efficiency and environmental responsibility

Considering using distributed fiber optic sensing for your mining or nuclear waste monitoring project?

Talk to us. We will do our best to provide the information you need to help you decide.

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Managing risk in mining and nuclear waste disposal

Safe underground operations depend on engineering judgment, sound construction, foreseeing the risks and mitigating them. Continuous monitoring helps keep miners safe and mines operational.

Fiber optic sensing is ideal since the sensing cable, which senses and transmits the data is:
  • EMI immune
  • Passive (not a hazard in an explosive atmosphere)
  • Long (more than 50 km from a single interrogator)
  • Replicates thousands of discrete sensors in one easy to install sensor
  • Versatile deployment, within structures or attached to the surface
  • Chemically inert, resistant to aggressive environments.

Distributed fiber optic sensing provides real-time monitoring and fits into smart, predictive maintenance planning.

Monitor strain in structures


Monitoring the strain and temperature of a borehole provides information for
  • Condition monitoring
  • Safe operations

Small deformation changes in the borehole may indicate a casing or other failure.
You gain insight into the geophysical behavior of surrounding rock and soil.
Strain events and temperature are detected all along the borehole, thanks to continuous detection and location of small events, without interrupting operations.
Water or fluid ingress may be inferred from temperature events.

PROJECT: Integrity monitoring of a well bore, via the cemented production casing

Know the temperature throughout the mine

Deploying a fiber optic sensing cable within the mine structure (roadway, tunnel, shaft, conveyor belts) provides continuous temperature monitoring. The interrogator can be housed remotely and monitors up to 50 km. The sensing cable is inert, does not need electricity, and the interrogator is housed remotely.

Tunnels and shafts

An inert fiber optic sensing cable deployed in a tunnel or shaft, either to its surface, or embedded in its structure during construction, monitors strain and temperature continuously, over decades.

During construction:

  • Know when concrete curing is complete, thanks to continuous temperature monitoring in shotcrete tunnel linings
  • Detect ground movement
  • The precision of the system allows for shape sensing. Comparing models with reality provides valuable insight into the behavior of materials and methods. Live data input adds value to digital twins.

Structural health monitoring in tunnels:

  • Continuous strain measurement detects deformation and subsidence during operation, and in abandonment
  • In deep mines, where geological challenges are ever-present, constant monitoring is a major contributor to safe working.

PROJECT: Monitoring sprayed concrete lining deformation during tunnel and shaft construction

Tailings Storage Dams

Tailings dams, particularly legacy dams can be monitored using fiber optic sensing to detect early movement or deformation.

Ideally the robust fiber optic sensing cable is embedded into the structure. Smart geosynthetics can be placed on the slopes of tailings dams to provide monitoring over a larger area.

PROJECT: Detecting ground movement and deformation of a large earth retaining structure