Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This paper presents the evaluation Montana Tech completed for the Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine relating to the benefits of survey data collected using novel technologies over traditional methods for topographic surveys. These technologies include Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), photogrammetry, and laser scanning/LIDAR. Utilizing these technologies, large areas such as reclamation areas and cast blasts can be surveyed in a timely manner for use by the mining operation. The areas that were evaluated were the improvements in the safety of employees and the time required to collect data. In addition, there is also a potential cost savings for the operation, all while not affecting the accuracy of the data that is collected.


Originally presented at SME Annual Meeting, Feb. 19th - 22nd, 2017, Denver, CO.