A Deeper Look: Our Role in the Hole

by Michael Adams | Updated: 04/23/2024 | Comments: 0

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South Dakota underground excavation

Have you read the South Dakota: Rock Stability in Large Underground Excavation case study? It’s a short and interesting read, so check it out if you haven’t already. In this blog article, we’ll take a deeper look at Campbell Scientific’s role in a large-cavern, hard-rock excavation project at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF).

As we strive for scientific advancement with an unwavering commitment to progress, we’d like to highlight the monitoring efforts undertaken during the blasting and construction phase of the SURF “4850 Level” project.

To ensure measurement accuracy, product reliability, and longevity throughout the expansion of the deepest underground laboratory in the United States, the contracted integrator, RESPEC, turned to Campbell Scientific's VSPECT® products. The RESPEC team chose these products to help oversee construction activities and uphold safety standards during this expansive endeavor.

Close monitoring of rock movements in critical areas was possible thanks to the implementation of 64 multi-point bore hole extensometers, spanning depths from 10.1 to 19.8 m (33 to 65 ft) for each bore hole. In addition, multiple-point inclinometers were strategically placed to assess the stability of various work zones, prioritizing the well-being of construction crew members while gathering valuable data for long-term stability analysis.

Operating within an active blasting and construction environment posed challenges, including high ambient electrical interference and random noise levels. However, with the Campbell Scientific CR6, CR1000X, and AVW200 equipped with patented VSPECT circuitry, we were able to maintain exceptional noise immunity for the project. This ensured accurate measurements, minimizing the risk of false alarms that could disrupt workflow or, worse, jeopardize worker safety in a potentially dangerous environment.

With proven, multi-decade reliability and measurement performance, the Campbell Scientific VSPECT devices will ensure the integrity of critical data points in an important underground research laboratory for years to come.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them below or reach out to our infrastructure team at CSI-Infrastructure@campbellsci.com. To learn more about VSPECT technology, visit our VSPECT Essentials resource page.

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About the Author

michael adams Michael Adams is a Senior Applications Engineer at Campbell Scientific, Inc. He has a degree in Electronic Systems, which he has applied for more than 30 years in system design, field deployment, and system longevity/reliability—with a strong focus on instrumentation and field troubleshooting. When he's not working, Michael can be found cycling, skiing, or flyfishing.

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