To improve efficiencies in production, open pit mines are relying heavily on machine guidance systems using high-precision GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) technology to provide robust 3D positioning across the mine. The receivers of these positioning systems have evolved over the past decade and can use a number of satellite constellations to achieve better performance and higher reliability. However, as pits have gone deeper, the reduction in GNSS satellite visibility has significantly impacted the operational availability of GNSS-guided machines.
Locata Corporation (Locata) has invented a ground-breaking radio positioning system that can be considered a ‘local GNSS”. Functionally, the Locata system is equivalent to a GNSS positioning constellation but is ground-based instead of space-based. The Leica Jigsaw Positioning System (Jps) is the world’s first commercial product to combine the Locata signals produced by a Locata system into a high-precision GNSS+Locata positioning device. Leica Jps leverages the strengths of both GNSS and Locata technologies, delivering a new and previously unattainable level of positioning reliability in areas where GNSS-only positioning is unreliable.
This article describes the Leica Jps components and its deployment onto machines at Newmont’s Boddington Gold mine in Western Australia, demonstrating that in certain adverse conditions, a daily improvement in positioning availability of over 4 hours can be achieved over a GNSS-only system whilst still fulfilling high-precision RTK accuracies.
Dr Ryan Keenan, Project Manager – Leica Mining Solutions, Leica Geosystems
Ryan Keenan was awarded a Bachelor of Engineering Honours degree in Civil Engineering Surveying from Nottingham Trent University and a PhD in GPS Geodesy & Navigation from UCL (University College London), England.
Since 2001, Dr. Keenan has been employed within the Hexagon Group leading the promotion, development and integration of high-precision GNSS technologies into different market segments. These have included RTK Networks, engineering surveying, geodetic deformation monitoring, and most recently machine guidance and control applications for engineering and construction.
Dr. Keenan is now leading Leica Geosystems’ “Life of Mine” initiative whereby innovative measurement technologies across the Hexagon Group are being combined and customized specifically to fulfill the high geospatial demands of the global mining segment.
Dr Brendon Lilly -Product Manager – Jps and J2drill Leica Geosystems Mining Division
Brendon Lilly is the Product Manager for the Leica Jps product at Leica Geosystems Mining and has worked actively for more than 20 years in both commercially based software and hardware product development, from specification of requirements and design through to development, testing, release, support, and quality assurance, specialising in high precision guidance products.
Brendon has a Bachelor of Microelectronic Engineering (1st Class Hons) and a PhD from Griffith University.
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