The suitability of a radar as a slope stability monitor for an opencast mine is investigated. The radar is required to detect the millimetric pre-cursory movements of a wall face which signal instability. An application-specific simulation was written in Matlab in order to develop a differential interferometric algorithm to detect any movement. This algorithm was applied to real data and performed adequately. Temporal decorrelation and atmospheric variations were identified as likely error sources, and were investigated in turn using the simulation.
Based on the results of the simulation, a scanning procedure is proposed to minimise these potential error sources. The radar is assessed as a very suitable technique for monitoring slope stability. It is very accurate as an indicator of zero movement, and performs within the specified millimetric precision for small movements (less than 2 mm). For larger movements, the radar indicates that a movement has occurred but the accuracy is reduced. These larger movements are unlikely to occur with the proposed scanning procedure.