Lios 3 Helps Luxembourg 3d Map Slate Mine Turned Into Museum

Luxembourg's division of Mines, Mining, and Quarries used the Elios 3 to 3D map an old slate quarry that was being turned into a museum.

Benefits in a Nutshell


Using the Elios 3 to capture LiDAR data inside the quarry or mine’s galleries allowed authorities to map areas they could not safely enter.


Indoor 3D Maps

3D maps were essential to map the mine but it was hard to achieve with a handheld LiDAR scanner, and making them with aerial photogrammetry would have been a slow and challenging process. The Elios 3’s LiDAR sensor allowed Luxembourg authorities to make 3D maps of all the mine’s chambers quickly and efficiently.   

Stability determinations

Data from the 3D models helped calculate data like the thickness of the ground in order to make stability determinations.


Hundreds of years ago, mining extraction and underground quarrying activities were the biggest industry in the country of Luxembourg.

Some of these mines and quarries have been converted into museums where visitors can take tours of the mines, learning how they were once used and the history of their importance to the country’s economy.

For this reason, it’s crucial to government officials to ensure that any mine opened for tourism has been thoroughly inspected and approved for entry from a safety perspective. 

It’s also important to map these mines, since they are so old that few of them have detailed maps available.


Picture taken within the slate mine by the Elios 3

Customer Needs

A new division in the Luxembourg Ministry of Labor called Mines, Mining, and Quarries under the responsibility of Pierre Schmitz and Hervé Lestang was tasked with overseeing safety in mines, including those that have been turned into tourist attractions.

The new division has two primary duties:

  • Update relevant laws. Luxembourg’s laws related to mining and safety date back to the 1800s, and are in need of being updated to reflect current realities.
  • Conduct inspections. Officials from the new division spend much of their time in the field collecting data related to safety inside various mines throughout the country. They also create maps of the mines as part of this work.

These two tasks are deeply interconnected. Data collected in the field will inform the writing of the new laws, and the new laws will describe and help enforce best practices around safety and management being honed in the field.

When administrators of an old mine want to turn it into a museum, they will contact the division of Mines, Mining, and Quarries and ask for their approval. The process typically requires a safety inspection of the mine. It also requires the creation of maps, since the mines are old, which means that a lot of data is missing and existing maps are not accurate.


Inspecting and mapping these mines represents a good opportunity to use a drone or robot for data collection.

Mining presents specific challenges for this work like low lighting, the presence of dust, and the absence of GPS. 


The Elios 3's 3D Live Map helps pilots fly in very dusty environments

Authorities from the division of Mining wanted to create 3D models of a slate mine. They knew that handheld LiDAR would not work given the dangerous areas they wanted to map. Using photogrammetry with visual data collected by drone was also not a good option, since it would be incredibly time consuming, requiring a large number of flights close to the mine’s walls and the processing of a huge amount of data.

Luxembourg authorities decided to test Flyability’s Elios 3 to map the mine. The Elios 3 is an indoor drone equipped with a LiDAR sensor that allows it to create 3D maps in real time, while in flight. These maps are made using SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), technology that lets the drone locate itself in three dimensional space as it flies.

Of all the ways that the mines could be mapped, LiDAR was the most promising option. 

The goal was to see if the Elios 3 could create 3D maps that would meet all the needs of the division.


The test flights and resulting 3D models were a success. Several flights were performed in various parts of a slate quarry, producing 3D models that were sufficiently detailed. Since the models were produced as the drone flew, mining authorities could have them immediately after each flight, with no time needed for processing.


In many instances, the Elios 3 was used to fly into areas that were completely inaccessible to humans, either because they were too dangerous to enter or because the entrypoint was too small for human entry.

Here are the benefits that were realized by using the Elios 3:

  • Detailed 3D models. The 3D models created by the Elios 3 provided all the information to create maps of the mine, including data on the width, length, and volume of various sections of the mine.
  • Safety to workers. By using the Elios 3, we were able to remain safely outside of any potentially unstable areas within the mine while collecting the data they needed to do their work.
  • Stability determinations. The 3D models also provided data to help calculate the depth of the mine and the thickness of the ground above it. This data is crucial for measuring the amount of stress present in a given section of the mine, which in turn helps determine how stable that area is.
  • Rugged operations. Despite the challenging circumstances the mine presented, including low lighting, dust, and a lack of GPS, the Elios 3 performed well and executed all the work needed.
  • Marketing materials. The 3D models also provide interactive depictions of the mine that can be used to attract new visitors.


Case Study Construction Infrastructure

VZÚ Plzeň, a robotic inspections service provider, is using Elios 3 to radically improve drone inspections at power generation sites in the Czech Republic.


Flyability and our partner Droprise collaborated to map a long stretch of roadway bridge in Belgium


The Elios 3 was used to safely inspect and map structures on a canalized river with a high flow rate.


The Elios 3 was used for an emergency in Lyon where an underground drone was the only way to investigate a mysterious sinkhole.


See how InspecDrone used the Elios 3 to complete UT drone inspections at a cement plant to complete non-destructive testing of assets.

Power Generation

The Elios 3 UT flew inside the stack, cutting the need to affect insulation on the outside, producing accurate results that can be repeated for routine […]


TEXO were asked to map storage racks at a large sugar refinery, and used the Asset Management extension to merge several days’ worth of flights.


Meet the Asset Management software extension - ready to simplify how you view and manage your Elios 3 data during and after inspections.


Pete Kelsey and a team of specialists used laser scanners and drones to scan the entirety of Alcatraz to help predict the future of the island.


Hull inspections with the Elios 3 UT cut labor intensity, no longer requiring teams of 16+ people to mount scaffolding - send the drone instead, and a […]


Specialist digitization and inspection engineers Delta Scan used the Elios 3 in a rapid response to deal with a gas explosion on a street in central […]


In Sydney, Australia, Metrocorp Technologies is using the Elios 3 for safe surveys in live sewers, stormwaters and other high risk confined space assets.


To guarantee the safety of their furnace and employees, UNICALCE SpA appointed WACO Srl and their Elios drone to inspect some rock detachments at their […]


In a massive project to help Brussels become a smart city, Brussels Mobility and several partners mapped 13 km of underground technical galleries.

Power Generation

A drone inspection for wind turbine blades can help avoid over $1 million in replacement costs by identifying faulty equipment early.

Public Safety

When every second counts, emergency response teams need to make the right decisions. The Elios drones are helping inform decision making in firefighting […]

Power Generation

An abandoned coal plant is being mapped for redevelopment, so surveying and inspection specialists TEXO used the Elios 3 to inspect the old buildings and […]

Power Generation

CLP Power supplies highly reliable electricity to over 80% of Hong Kong’s population. As maintaining safe and efficient operations of power generation is […]


A major inactive zinc mine survey with the Elios 3 proved to have successful results and empowered surveys of old workings.

Power Generation

The Taltson Hydro Plant was due for maintenance work, and Osprey Integrity used the Elios 3 to inspect the inner workings of this dam.