Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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September 26, 2022
Slam and UAV technology combine to improve safety and accuracy for aggregates industry

With onsite safety an increasingly important consideration, UAV combined with simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) LiDAR technology has been put to use by a major cement plant in France in order to improve its stockpiling measures.

Using Flyability’s Elios 3 drone and LiDAR capabilities, alongside GeoSLAM’s leading software GeoSLAM Connect, plant operators were able to create a 3D digital replica of cement material containers, offering a unique look into storage management and stockpile measurement systems, and providing greater accuracy and safety for those working onsite.

Stored in huge silos measuring up to 25 metres in height, clinker, a binding agent commonly used in the manufacturing of cement, is an important commodity for cement plants and stock levels, and must be accurately calculated for effective production planning.

At most cement plants, operators continue to use a manual approach for tracking clinker inventory levels – a routine that requires employees to stand on a platform inside the silo, and, using a long pole, poke around the clinker to feel and estimate how much clinker is currently available. These estimations are reported back to the plant production teams for forward planning.

Rather than exposing workers to dusty, dark and potentially dangerous environments, not to mention producing inaccurate inventory data, one cement plant has embraced technological enhancements, deploying Flyability’s Elios 3 drone to take a deeper look into the clinker silos.

Using a LiDAR sensor to collect highly precise data while in flight, the Elios 3 was able to collect measurements from all areas of the silo. Using GeoSLAM Connect to accurately process the point cloud, a fully comprehensive 3D digital replica of the container and clinker levels was created.

By performing a stockpile measurement, Flyability’s easy to use solution, plus GeoSLAM’s survey grade processing package allowed the cement plant operator to produce a much more accurate image of clinker levels, simplifying and updating inventory maintenance systems.

For more information on GeoSLAM, visit, or for more information about the project, click here

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