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Innovation born of mining science is bringing innovation to other industries, including aerospace manufacturing.

The challenge

Underground innovation takes flight

In mining, 3D imagery is used to create rich, accurate models that give operators more information about the mine environment, improving productivity and safety.

These models also support innovative optimisation of processes.

Outside of a mine, other manufacturing processes can benefit from high-resolution 3D images for situational awareness and simulation.

CSIRO partnered with American aerospace company Boeing for a trial to demonstrate the benefits of this approach to manufacturing.

Our response

Mining imaging technology builds a picture for manufacturing

Our Mining Geoscience research team developed Stereo Depth Fusion (SDF); a 3D imaging technology that rapidly builds a high-quality picture of the underground mine environment.

This innovative technology is now being applied to large-scale manufacturing, beginning with aerospace company Boeing.

The SDF software and hardware system generates 3D models by integrating stereo-vision with prior knowledge of the scene, such as from a laser ranging system, which speeds up and improves the accuracy of 3D image reconstruction.

In manufacturing, quality control involves inspecting and validating products against the design, which can be a time-consuming, manually intensive and error-prone process.

The 3D imaging technology can overcome these drawbacks, by providing data that can be analysed quickly and – in the future – autonomously.

The results

To aerospeace and beyond

The successful demonstration of SDF technology with Boeing has highlighted how the software may be applied beyond manufacturing and mining.

SDF technology brings a competitive edge to any application where high-speed 3D imaging is required, such as medical imaging and equipment-wear analysis.

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