Underground Scanning – Maptek SR3 Laser Scanner

2 Mins read

Early in 2021 I will be conducting a Q&A with Simon Johnston who is Maptek National Technical Services Manager. The SR3 laser scanner is one of Maptek’s most interesting offerings for the underground market. Read on to find out more

The Maptek SR3 laser scanner is a short range laser scanner designed for underground survey and mapping applications. It combines fast accurate sensing, dedicated mount accessories and powerful modelling software for improving overall productivity and safety underground. This could add value to any underground operations requiring fast, survey grade pickups with high definition geological mapping in one pass.

Maptek SR3 Scanner in use in underground setting

The SR3 is 30% smaller and 25% lighter, with 2.5 times faster data acquisition than the earlier Maptek 8200 series. The system is protected to IP65 for reliable operation in rugged environments. It complements the long range XR3 and LR3 laser scanners, which were first released in 2017.

A scan window of 130° vertically, and 360° horizontally captures roofs and walls in tunnels and underground drives without the need for complicated configurations. Whatever the orientation of the scanner, integrated levelling automatically corrects scans before processing.

New functionality on the tablet controller allows users to import mine CAD strings and surfaces to view together with scans. Surveyors will be able to log onto any web enabled device and conduct a scan remotely.

Colourised point cloud data collected underground by the Maptek SR3 with lighting attachment

Applications in the underground environment:

  • Stope and drive survey
  • Geological mapping of development headings
  • 3D mapping of underground workings
  • Rock bolt identification
  • Pre and post-shotcrete analysis
  • Geotechnical/kinematic analysis
  • Safety offset modelling
  • Stockpile reconciliation
  • Design conformance


As a mine surveyor myself I could see this tool being very handy in several underground mining applications. The first and most obvious is for use by the survey department is to collect full point cloud data of drives, including geological photos very quickly. This data could then be analysed by others in the technical services departments such as Geotechnical Engineers and Geologists, in conjunction with face sampling. It could potentially be used to eliminate interference by people in the tech services team within the mining cycle, speeding up development and saving costs.

The second use case could be for a geological technician to use it in conjunction with the survey team, possibly collecting data in older parts of the mine on a project or campaign basis for analysis of data for various purposes. This would be ideal for the survey team as it wouldn’t add to their workload.

The final application I see for the SR3 is more of a “permanent install” scanner in an area that there is expected possible seismic activity that needs to be monitored very regularly. The scanner mounted and run using Maptek’s Sentry system would act like a monitoring system for the predefined area, allowing the geotechnical team the ability to assess areas of concern for competency without the requirement of needing personnel to access the area.

Analysis of geological structures interpreted from SR3 scan data.

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