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Just over a year ago, Advanced Applied Physics Solutions, Inc. (AAPS) unveiled itsplans to commercialize the concept of muon geotomography, which is a geophysics technique developed by UBC Professor Doug Bryman that employs cosmic-ray muons (highly energetic electron-like particles created in the upper atmosphere) to detect regions of high ore density and also differentiate types of ore, based on how they interact with the muons.
AAPS has passed an important milestone on the road to commercializing the concept of muon geotomography: they have built the first full-scale working version of the detector that will be used in the mining technique. The new mineral exploration technology will allow mining companies to take three-dimensional scans of mines in order to determine the location of valuable ore deposits. This cutting-edge approach not only has the potential to increase the success and ease of mine exploration, but also to reduce the costs and environmental impact associated with current mining practices.
Rotem Gazit, who manages the detector project, outlined the significance of this milestone, saying, “This is a completely new design based on experience gained in the prototype detector program (2010 – 2011).” Gazit also discussed AAPS’s plans for the project in 2012, “The project is moving according to the plan, with the ambitious goal of building up to seven additional similar detectors by the end of this year.”
--Written by Jordan Pitcher (Communications Assistant)