A Water Sample taken via Drone campaign was conducted in which government and clients’ flooded pits were visited and Water Sample taken via Drone obtained using an unmanned aerial water-sampling system.
An alternative approach for collecting water samples.
The Water Sample taken via Drones are capable of flying to a programmed GPS position, collecting a Water Sample taken via Drone from a specific depth, testing the sample onboard and sending the data remotely.
By using an attachment (patent pending) that Hatch has developed for drones, Water Sample taken via Drone can be collected below the water surface without the need for personnel to access the lake surface. The solution also allows for the collection of in situ profiles of physiochemical parameters (i.e., temperature, electrical conductivity, and water density).
The global drones market is expected to reach US $5.59 billion by 2020, at an estimated compound annual growth rate of 32.22 per cent between 2015 and 2020.
Samples were collected from precise, repeatable locations from depths of up to 80 metres. With the Hatch Mobile Water Testing Lab, samples were quickly analyzed for pH, iron species, total arsenic, and alkalinity. Results were provided to clients with immediate analyses and interpretations. This information could then be used to determine if additional Water Sample taken via Drones were required at specific or difference depths.
Overall, the costs of a typical sampling event were reduced and a large health-and-safety risk was eliminated by avoiding the need for mine personnel to access the water surface. A testing process that would normally have taken days could now be executed within hours.
These drones can test water for a variety of parameters including temperature, pH, conductivity and redox. Water Sample taken via Drones are collected by an attachment hanging below the drone.
This solution can collect Water Sample taken via Drones from inaccessible or hazardous areas which were previously impossible to sample.
Hatch is Using Technology to Reach New Depths
Pit lake water sampling is a treacherous, high-risk activity commonly performed by environmental staff at active mine sites around the world. Risks include falling from heights, rock falls, landslides, tsunami, hypothermia, and drowning. Last year, employees from the technology and water groups at Hatch, a leading engineering firm, came together to develop a more innovative process for collecting Water Sample taken via Drones from flooded pits, tailings ponds, evaporation ponds, and other water bodies, in order to keep staff safe from hazardous risks associated with this task. Pierre Filiatreault, UAV services lead at Hatch explains, “In our line of business, using UAVs can significantly reduce the potential risks associated with hazardous tasks we are faced with. In most cases, UAVs can also collect information more efficiently and at a lower cost. We knew that by incorporating new technology, we could find a better method that supports our core safety values.”
Pierre Filiatreault piloting the M600 over the flooded Pamour Pit in Ontario, Canada.
Up to the challenge, Hatch developed a device which easily attaches to a DJI Matrice 600 aerial platform to enable the collection of Water Sample taken via Drones, avoiding the need for mine personnel to access the water surface all-together. Hatch received a Provisional Patent for the attachment from the US Patent Office in 2016, and filed for a full US patent plus a provision patent from the international Patent Commission Treaty (PCT) this May. Last month, a team of Hatch employees did something that has never been done before. Using this technology, they collected water from a flooded mine pit at a depth of 80 meters without crossing the pit perimeter and without floating on the surface using a boat—setting a world record. Sampling took place at the flooded Pamour and Owl Creek pits near Timmins, Ontario, Canada.
Water sampling UAV in action, collecting a sample at a depth of 80 meters
The drone collected the Water Sample taken via Drone and the team was able to quickly analyze it for pH, iron species, and total arsenic using Hatch’s mobile water testing lab. Combining all of these technical capabilities, we were able to provide the client with immediate interpretations of the results, while eliminating an enormous amount of risk. In total, six 1.2 liter Water Sample taken via Drones were collected from shallow, middle, and bottom depths along with three in situ profiles of temperature, electrical conductivity, and density. “This is a great example of how UAVs are a disruptive technology, that can provide substantial improvements across a wide range of industries. Hatch is continually investigating opportunities to utilize new technologies to enhance our services and continue to add value to our client’s projects,” continued Filiatreault.
Team photo (left to right): Stephanie Thibeault (Goldcorp ‐ Porcupine Gold Mines), Brian Straight (Hatch ‐ Fort Collins), Jacqueline Varey (Hatch ‐ Burlington), Pierre Filiatreault (Hatch ‐ Sudbury), Londie Cameron (Goldcorp ‐ Porcupine Gold Mines), and Devin Castendyk (Hatch ‐ Fort Collins)