Luna develops new monitoring solution for tailings dams

12 January 2022

A new health monitoring solution to help the mining industry monitor tailings dam structures has been announced by Luna Innovations.

In December 2020, Luna acquired distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) capability with the acquisition of OptaSense. Throughout the course of 2021, the OptaSense products were improved and integrated with Luna’s legacy fiber optic sensing solutions resulting in significant new capabilities for long-range monitoring of critical infrastructure. 

The tailings dam monitoring solution combines distributed acoustic and strain monitoring acquired from OptaSense with Luna’s discrete point monitoring systems based on fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors. The result is a comprehensive system able to monitor major events throughout an entire site while also able to look inside structures at critical parameters which can be precursors of potential events, such as pore pressure and spot inclination, Luna said. This integrated structural health monitoring solution is also applicable to many other infrastructure projects beyond tailing dams such as bridges, tunnels and other major structures.

Luna’s newest fiber optic sensing solutions have recently successfully been installed on a major tailings dam project in North America to provide continuous monitoring to ensure the safety and stability of the structure for years to come.

. “Our deployments in tailings dams are a clear example of how Luna’s breadth of fiber optic capabilities combine to deliver a more comprehensive and effective solution to help ensure the safety of infrastructure like tailings dams,” said Luna’s President and CEO, Scott Graeff. “With thousands of such dams around the world, Luna is pleased that our initial deployments throughout the globe are successfully operational and actively monitoring these critical structures.”

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