PhotoSat’s satellite topography for oil sands mines is being used with GPS survey data to measure:

  • Mined volumes in the pits.
  • Waste dump and stockpile volumes.
  • Volumes of sand dumps and mature fine tailings.

We generate the digital elevation data from stereo satellite photos, which allows for instantaneous snapshots of the entire mine site. Each of our topographic grids for oil sands engineering work has an elevation accuracy of approximately 15cm RMSE.

The volumes calculated between any two PhotoSat topographic surfaces on the oil sands mines are accurate to approximately 20cm in thickness, or a volume accuracy of approximately 0.2m³ per m² of surface area.


Experience at Suncor’s Oil Sands Mine
Regular topographic mapping has helped Suncor monitor volume changes in its mine site and tailings disposal areas, using DigitalGlobe’s WorldView satellite. Suncor’s conventional methods of tracking volume changes involved GPS surveying and aerial mapping, both costly and time consuming processes. Learn more.


PhotoSat’s satellite topographic surveys 

Our unique technology generates engineering quality topographic data from satellite photos. We currently produce monthly or bi-weekly elevation data and volume calculations for oil sands mine sites in Alberta. Visit the satellite surveying page for additional information.


Accuracy reports

Proof of accuracy reports, case studies, and presentations are available on our Satellite surveying accuracy studies page.

For more information, contact PhotoSat at info@photosat.ca or 1-604-681-9770

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