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9 Jul 2018



3D SCANNING OF AN OLD MINE Zhejiang Province (China)


KEYWORDS: Mining | Underground | HERON | 3D Mapping

The surveying of an underground mine is difficult for two orders of problems: the complicated and dark tunnels environment and the underground depth where GPS or GNSS signal can't be reached.
The Aurantech company has faced this problem in an old underground mine site, in Zhejiang and thanks to the HERON wearable mobile mapping system the procedure for data collection was not only possible but also efficient.
After pre-processed the surveying acquisitions and filtered the noise, it has been possible to build the surface model of the tunnel, based on the required parameters, with a global accuracy of 10 cm.
The data extraction has been made with JRC 3D Reconstructor software. First of all, the data have been aligned via the automatic registration and bundle adjustment software's functions. Then, the cross-sections have been easily generated and volume and surface areas computed on the 3D model. Finally, the 3D model was easily exported to third-party applications using one of the most common data interchange formats.

Aurantech - The operator with HERON AC-1 during the surveying activities in the underground mine and HERON point cloud model with the path
Fig 1. The operator with HERON AC-1 during the surveying activities in the underground mine
Fig 2. HERON point cloud model of the underground mine with the path
Aurantech - HERON 3D mesh model of the underground mine
Fig 3. HERON 3D mesh model

« What we had to do was just to set up some control points using a total station and then simply walk with HERON. Software and hardware made the work easier and supplied us with a complete solution. HERON is a reliable, simple and high-performance 3D solution »
Sherry Wang
AURANTECH | Commercial Manager


  • Generate a precise map of an old tunnel where tripod laser scanners or GPS cannot be used.
  • Build a measurable 3D model of the underground mine starting from the 3D point cloud.


  • 3D point cloud model
  • Depth calculation
  • Area calculation
  • Cross-sections
  • Volume calculation

    Aurantech - CAD environment: cross sections of the HERON point cloud model of the underground mine
    Fig 4. CAD environment: cross-sections of the HERON point cloud model


    • Work without GPS or GNSS sensors
    • The precision of final results
    • Management of wide and different data


    • SURVEYING SYSTEM: HERON AC-1 and total station
    • SURVEYING AREA: 250,000 sqm abandoned mine
    • SURVEYING TIME: 6 hours
    • PROCESSING SOFTWARE: HERON Desktop and JRC 3D Reconstructor
    • PROCESSING TIME: 18 hours


    Aurantech |
    Aurantech is a high-tech company situated in Shangai (China) featured to provide complete 3D solutions; highly experienced in 3D project services from 3D data collection, 3D data processing to the 3D information management system for final customers.

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