Sherborne Sensors supports mineshaft inspection breakthrough

Inertial sensors provide highly-accurate, geo-reference position data for innovative automated mineshaft inspection technology
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* Mineshaft
* Mining
* Accelerometers
* Inclinometers
* Sensors

* Engineering
* Science

* England

Jan. 9, 2013 - PRLog -- Wyckoff, NJ, 9th January, 2013 – Sherborne Sensors, a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of sensors for military, aerospace and industrial applications, has announced that its DSIC Inclinometers and A323 accelerometers are being used to provide highly-accurate, geo-reference position data as part of an innovative automated mineshaft inspection technology. Based on LiDAR, (Light Detection and Ranging) technology and high-resolution photography, the Mobile Shaft Scanning System (MS3) being developed by Canada’s Sight Power Inc. combines three core elements – Lasers, Global Positioning System (GPS), and Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) – promising substantial savings and improvements in safety.

The conventional mineshaft inspection procedure is to lower engineers down the shaft in an elevator at a speed below 1m/sec. However, with the MS3 system, the laser scanning device will be attached to the elevator and move up and down the shaft at speeds that enable quick and unobtrusive shaft scanning. Because GPS is not available underground, Sherborne Sensors’ DSIC high-precision inclinometers will measure the amount of roll and pitch of the carriers to give an indication of whether or not the movement down the shaft is well controlled. Meanwhile, the A323 accelerometers will measure the performance of the carriers with respect to vibration and acceleration during normal operation as well as during inspection cycles.

“LiDAR systems are ideal for mineshaft inspection, because the typical distance from the scanning device to objects within the shaft barrel is only 3-4 meters,” says Sight Power’s CEO and CTO, Borys Vorobyov. “But without GPS, a variety of positional aids are required to assist the INS, including inertial sensors such as accelerometers and inclinometers. We compared products from a number of suppliers and the consensus was that Sherborne Sensors provided the best match for accuracy, price and reputation.”

MS3 is capable of acquiring billions of data points to produce a realistic 3D image of an entire shaft with all internal infrastructures, (construction elements). Known as a ‘Digital Spatial 3D model’, the image can then be imported into a computer-aided design (CAD) software package for analysis. During the laboratory test phase, Sherborne’s inertial sensors assisted in mapping and characterizing the horizontal test setup performance, as well as indicating any flex, twist and tilt in the MS3 mechanical housing system. The inertial sensors are also being employed to characterize and understand the mineshaft environment, so that the Sight Power team can refine the MS3 system and its design for optimal accuracy and reliability.

“Our gravity referenced servo inclinometers and accelerometers are very robust, extremely accurate and field-proven,” says Sherborne Sensors’ Jesse Bonfeld, Vice President of Business Development. “Their dynamic range means that their output is more conducive to the volume of data required and integrates seamlessly into the MS3 data acquisition system. The fact that these inertial sensors are temperature compensated was also a key factor in ensuring accuracy of results, because the temperature varies dramatically as you travel along the length of a mine shaft.”

In the future, Sight Power aims to determine whether using clusters of accurate but lower cost sensors such as inclinometers and accelerometers can eliminate the requirement for the INS, which would lower the overall cost of the MS3 system. Sherborne Sensors can customize all of its inertial sensors ( and manufacture to comply with specific customer requirements within its AS9100C Quality Management System. In addition, all Sherborne Sensors’ products come with an industry exclusive two‐year comprehensive warranty, guaranteed On‐Time Delivery programme and are meticulously tested and calibrated to international standards prior to shipment.

Notes to Editors

Mineshaft inspections are a legal requirement in countries that have a mining industry. Every mineshaft must be closed for a thorough visual inspection, typically weekly, while each visual inspection can take between 4-12 hours to complete, depending on the depth of the shaft. This results in large losses in revenue for the operator of the mine, due to production being interrupted. Furthermore, engineers must perform inspections in a dangerous and potentially high-risk environment. Aiming to provide a much safer and more efficient alternative, Canada-based Sight Power is working with Shaft Sinkers Holdings and Parsec in South Africa to develop the Mobile Shaft Scanning System (MS3). It promises to reduce the time it takes to perform an inspection from hours to minutes, providing far better accuracy than is currently available, and enabling earlier detection of defects in shaft infrastructure to reduce the probability of accidents occurring.

A full case study and images are available on request:

About Sight Power Inc (

Sight Power Inc is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada and has offices and development centres in South Africa and Ukraine. The company was established by a group of business leaders, engineers and scientists with practical experience in the development of analytical information and data modeling systems for mining and oil and gas industries, as well as in the design, assembly and application of C&I equipment. The ultimate goal of Sight Power is to develop an automated monitoring system for mineshafts and transportation tunnels with all corresponding internal infrastructure. The proposed system will consist of specialized mobile high-speed laser scanning and high-resolution digital photographic hardware and software with AI elements for post-processing of the obtained data. For further information please visit

About Sherborne Sensors (

Sherborne Sensors is a global leader in the design, development, manufacture and supply of high‐precision inclinometers, accelerometers, force transducers and load cells, instrumentation and accessories for industrial, military and aerospace customers. Products are supplied under the AS9100C Quality Accreditation and are renowned for their ultra‐reliability and long‐life precision within critical applications. The acquisition of synergistic technologies by Sherborne Sensors within its product portfolio has allowed customers to benefit from expanded product lines, with added benefits of engineering support, global sales presence, repair, refurbishment and calibration services, stocking programmes and continuous product improvement. For further information go to  

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Amy Redhead

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Source:Sherborne Sensors
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Tags:Mineshaft, Mining, Accelerometers, Inclinometers, Sensors
Industry:Engineering, Science
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