Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for 3D topographic Mapping and Monitoring the Air Quality of Open-pit Mines

  • Xuan Nam BUI
  • Changwoo LEE
  • Quoc Long NGUYEN
  • Ahmad ADEEL
  • Xuan Cuong CAO
  • Viet Nghia NGUYEN
  • Van Canh LE
  • Hoang NGUYEN
  • Qui Thao LE
  • Thuy Huong DUONG
  • Van Duc NGUYEN


Recently remarkable advancement development of unmanned
aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been observed and their applications have been
shown in many fields such as agriculture, industry, and environmental
management. However, in the mining industry, the application of UAV
technology remains potential. This paper presents a low-cost unmanned
aerial vehicle technology-based system for 3D mapping and air quality
monitoring at open-pit mine sites in Vietnam. The system includes several
dust sensors that are mounted on a low-cost rotary-wing type UAV. The
system collects a variety of data, mainly images and airborne pollutant
concentrations. To evaluate the performance of the proposed system, field
tests were carried out at the Coc Sau coal mine. Based on the images
transmitted to the ground monitoring station, large scale 3D topographic
maps were successfully modeled. In addition, sensors mounted on the
UAV system were able to monitor the levels of environmental variables
associated with the air quality within the pit such as temperature, dust, CO,
CO2, and NOx. The field test results in this study illustrate the applicability
of the low-cost UAV for the 3D mapping and the air quality monitoring at
large and deep coal pits with relatively high accuracy.