Comparison of Satellite Surveying to Traditional Surveying Methods for the Resources Industry

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B. P. Osborne; V. J. Osborne; M. L. Kruger (2012), JBIS, 65, 98-104

Refcode: 2012.65.98
Keywords: Photogrammetry, DEM, remote sensing, satellite data, high resolution

Modern ground-based survey methods involve detailed survey, which provides three-space co-ordinates for surveyed points, to a high level of accuracy. The instruments are operated by surveyors, who process the raw results to create survey location maps for the subject of the survey. Such surveys are conducted for a location or region and referenced to the earth global co- ordinate system with global positioning system (GPS) positioning. Due to this referencing the survey is only as accurate as the GPS reference system. Satellite survey remote sensing utilise satellite imagery which have been processed using commercial geographic information system software. Three-space co-ordinate maps are generated, with an accuracy determined by the datum position accuracy and optical resolution of the satellite platform.

This paper presents a case study, which compares topographic surveying undertaken by traditional survey methods with satellite surveying, for the same location. The purpose of this study is to assess the viability of satellite remote sensing for surveying in the resources industry. The case study involves a topographic survey of a dune field for a prospective mining project area in Pakistan. This site has been surveyed using modern surveying techniques and the results are compared to a satellite survey performed on the same area.

Analysis of the results from traditional survey and from the satellite survey involved a comparison of the derived spatial co- ordinates from each method. In addition, comparisons have been made of costs and turnaround time for both methods.

The results of this application of remote sensing is of particular interest for survey in areas with remote and extreme environments, weather extremes, political unrest, poor travel links, which are commonly associated with mining projects. Such areas frequently suffer language barriers, poor onsite technical support and resources.


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