The Culpeper Star Exponent recently reported on a quarry blast that used nine tonnes of explosives to fragment 40,000 tonnes of rock at Cedar Mountain Stone’s Mitchells Quarry, a 607ha US quarry in Virginia.
Al Williams, a retired quarry blaster, operated an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – or drone – to capture a clear view of the blast from a height of about 100m above the explosion.
Quarry owner Ed Dalrymple was quoted as saying the UAV would allow him to monitor the characteristics of the blast and the amount of material being extracted.
“It will help us tell how the energy is dissipated so we can adjust the blast and to understand where the energy is going,” he explained.
The UAV’s footage was also used as an educational tool for students of Germanna Community College’s Center for Workforce and Community Education.
“Germanna is working with Cedar Mountain on drone flyovers that will produce video showing the progress and measuring the efficiency of stone removal at the quarry,” the Virginian college’s Facebook page stated.
In addition to blast monitoring, UAVs can be used to map and survey quarry sites, perform machinery inspections that might otherwise be hazardous, monitor vegetation, and assist in stockpile volume calculation and analysis.