Remote sensing (or remote detection) is the technique developed to obtain information about an object indirectly (remotely) through electromagnetic contact. The radiation projected on the Earth's surface is reflected, absorbed or transmitted according to the characteristics of the irradiated element. The measurement of the intensity of these phenomena with the use of special sensors allows an object to be analyzed.

The advancement of satellite technology has become in recent decades an indispensable tool in the modern world for solving problems in the management of the Earth's surface. It allows for analyzing large areas both quickly and easily, and its application improves decision making in the agricultural and forestry industry, natural resources, meteorology, land use and cartography. Tailpro Consulting has forged strategic alliances with specialists around the world, and has successfully implemented and developed techniques for remote monitoring of mining facilities.

High-precision / resolution topography and satellite imagery

There are currently different methods to develop surface topography, with the principal methods being LiDAR, UAV (drones) and traditional land based methods such through the use of GNSS and Total Station equipment.

In the last decade, PhotoSat Information ltd. a Canadian company, has successfully developed a revolutionary method, which consists of high-resolution stereo satellite image processing, which produces mapping and surveying much faster than traditional photogrammetry methods having greater precision, higher topographic detail and at a considerably lower cost compared to traditional methods. To our knowledge, this processing system currently produces the highest quality and best accuracy in satellite topographic models and ortho-imaging available today. To date, Photosat has successfully developed more than 1000 projects around the world, and together with Tailpro Consulting, more than 50 projects.

The highest precision / resolution product, satisfying an engineering project requirement at a scale of 1:1000 (and even better) having the following characteristics:

  • Topography, 1m x 1m grid. Accuracy greater than 30cm, normally 15cm when including reference control points.
  • Ortho-image, resolution of 30 or 50 cm per pixel.

Lower resolution / precision products are also available at a fraction of the cost, for example at a scale of 1:5000, 1:10,000 or greater.


  • Results between 1 and 3 weeks (depending on the requested area)
  • No requirements for third parties to enter site, no security risks, no accreditation of personnel, transportation costs, accommodation, etc.
  • Reduced costs
  • Accuracy level verified (accuracy report delivered)
  • Error reduction compared to a mosaic of hundreds of images captured by a drone
  • Higher monitoring frequency can be achieved

Satellite Derived Bathymetry

Bathymetry is the process of obtaining a detailed representation of the bases of water bodies, whether oceans, lakes and even smaller bodies of water such as clear water lagoons in tailings deposits. Knowing the characteristics of these water bodies (volume, area, depth and shape) can improve the planning and operation of tailings discharge and at the same time optimizing the recovery of water avoiding problems in the operation, such as returning fines in the pumping system

However, despite technological development in recent decades, in practice, the execution of this type of work still presents many difficulties and limitations: high cost, equipment stability, security, time to access tasks, accessibility to areas of shallow depth, water turbidity.

This is how Tailpro Consulting, through its engineering department, has investigated different methods to produce 3D elevation models of water bodies in mining, using satellite sensors (commercial and open license). This has allowed direct application in the measurement of supernatant water lagoons in tailings deposits and storage pools. In parallel, the results have been validated using topographic surveys and bathymetries performed in-situ, which has allowed calibrations to optimize the models.

One of the most important advantages of this technique is that there are no access limitations, and shallow areas can be measured which is not possible using field based campaigns.

The available products vary according to the resolution of the satellite:

  • Open License Satellite Bathymetry, 10m x 10m resolution
  • Commercial Satellite Bathymetry, resolution 2m x 2m

Moisture Monitoring

The study of surface soil/terrain moisture is a fundamental topic in hydrology, meteorology and agriculture. In mining, specifically related to tailings management, its study allows to review the saturated zones for cyclic discharge planning. The observation capacity of current satellites, and the high frequency of revisit make it possible to monitor variations throughout the year, and even go back in time and analyze the operation of previous years.

Through the calculation of the NDWI index (Normalized Differential Water Index), NDVI (Normalized Differential Vegetation Index) and internal methodologies, it is possible to identify water masses and areas of high humidity/saturation. In this way, an index is developed as a unit of measurement to determine water stress, soil moisture saturation, or make direct boundaries of water bodies such as lakes and reservoirs, and in our case, supernatant tailings ponds.

The available products vary according to the resolution of the satellite:

  • Open License Satellite Bathymetry, 10m x 10m resolution
  • Commercial Satellite Bathymetry, resolution 2m x 2m

Surface Deformation Monitoring (InSAR)

Together with CGG, a pioneering global company in the study of earth sciences, we have forged a strategic alliance in order to provide surface deformation monitoring (InSAR) services, providing our clients with complete and accurate information on the location, extent, magnitude and evolution of land deformations. InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) technology is widely used in oil and gas, mining, and engineering projects to maximize project performance, increase safety, and ensure compliance with local regulations. The main services in this area are:

  • Surface deformation monitoring
  • Structural Geology - Unique geological and structural interpretation of multispectral or hyperspectral satellite data to eliminate risks from ground exploration activities
  • Terrain characterization - Reduce the risks and costs associated with geomorphology, survey campaign planning and design, and instrumentation selection
  • Historical baseline, periodic audits, and rapid reporting monitoring programs

On-site Timelapse Cameras

Tailpro Consulting has successfully developed and implemented automated and remote surveillance cameras for the observation of critical points of operation, such as the operation of the water recovery system in a tailings deposit, discharge lines, industrial processes, mining operations, or construction processes. The remote concept means that the cameras can be viewed from anywhere in the world, and from any device thanks to its LTE-SIM connectivity.

The use of timelapse techniques allows to record processes that normally develop very slowly, such a tailings pond geometry change, that are imperceptible to the human eye.

Aerial Photography (UAV drone)

We have drones equipped for photography and video recording, with the aim of being able to monitor inaccessible areas of the project, such as the interior areas of tailings deposits, and waterbodies. These observations complement the work of the field engineer and improve decision-making.

Associated Links

Tailpro Resource

Tailpro Resource - An interactive tool aimed to improve tailings management and is designed to be used by industry, regulators, designers and operators involved with tailings storage.

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