A new solution that uses satellites and earth observation coupled with ground sensors to monitor mine tailings facilities was recently launched by a Tokyo-based company and a London-based startup.
The strategic partnership brings together Japan’s Synspective, a SAR (synthetic aperture radar) satellite data and solutions provider, and England’s Insight Terra, a cloud-based environmental and infrastructure risk management platform.
The firms are working together to provide an integrated product offering combining Insight Terra’s cloud-based IoT Insight Platform with Synspective’s analytical models of SAR data for the mining and other related industries. The joint solution allows for the fusion of near real-time ground truth and earth observation data for proactive monitoring and alerting.
“The Tailings Insight solution including new InSAR capabilities will be a leap forward for mining operators, investors and regulators seeking to monitor and mitigate potential mine-related disasters affecting people, communities and the environment,” the companies said in a media statement.
According to the firms, Insight Terra’s mining product, Tailings Insight, is currently deployed with a number of global companies for tailings dam monitoring.
On the other hand, Synspective develops and operates high-frequency, high-resolution SAR satellites called “StriX” to provide high-quality data sets and solution services. The company has already placed three satellites into targeted orbit while planning to establish a constellation of 30 satellites and an analytics platform by the late 2020s.
The integration of SAR data gathered by Synspective’s growing family of StriX series satellites will provide powerful earth observation capabilities to the Tailings Insight application. This technology can be utilized to monitor ground movement and land deformation which are risk indicators for potential failures of tailings facilities, mine walls, and water dams, among others.
“Space has been an important part of Insight Terra’s heritage. Inmarsat, the leading global mobile satellite company, is one of our founding shareholders and key partners, and we have delivered a number of innovative environmental monitoring projects together with Inmarsat and the European Space Agency (ESA),” Insight Terra co-founder and CEO, Alastair Bovim, said in the release.
“Adding Synspective’s earth observation data bolsters our space-enabled data and monitoring capabilities and is integral to our mission of protecting people, and the environment, from potential disasters such as the mine tailings facilities collapse in South Africa just this September.”
Bovim also pointed out that the integrated mine monitoring solution that the companies will deliver should be an important step toward safety and conservation goals.