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3D Laser Imaging For Underground Mining Applications

3D laser imaging is an emerging tool for rock mass characterization in underground mines where joint expression can be suitable, lighting is low, and working conditions are dusty and dirty. In this new approach, a laser camera captures high-resolution images of the rock face from a distance of a few metres away. 3D point clouds are converted into meshes made of thousands of triangular elements. Strike and dip are measured for each individual triangle, leading to robust estimates of joint orientation. Rectangular subsets of data can also be binned into 2D surface profiles where baseline and maximum asperity amplitude can be measured, leading estimates of the joint roughness coefficient and roughness anisotropy.