Pike River Borehole Project

Outsource Engineering collaborated with Ignition Networks on the design and manufacture of a deployable camera system to inspect the Pike River mine.

Access holes to the mine were mostly Ø101mm in diameter, and at close to 150m deep, and up to 10° from vertical, presented significant challenges. Other design restraints included limited aluminium use, cable self weight, ground water around the borehole, and heat dissipation from the lighting system.


Groundwater seeps into the mine tunnel from the roof around the borehole. To get the imaging camera out past this water, the camera is mounted on a servo driven 4 bar linkage. The camera swing sideways 300mm, and in case of a power failure can fall back to vertical to allow retraction. A large part of the design was to maximise the chances of recovery of the gear in case something went wrong.

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