Mining Contract: Development of a Uniform Methodology for Evaluating Coal Mine Communications and Tracking Systems
Several technologies have been developed or adapted to meet the communications and tracking requirements of the MINER Act. A variety of systems have been commercialized, and some are installed in underground coal mines. Evaluating the performance of these systems is not easily done. The lack of a uniform evaluation methodology makes it difficult to assess which technologies are better suited for certain mining applications, whether a newer technologic innovation represents a performance improvement over existing technologies, or even if a proposed implementation of a specific technology is likely to satisfy a regulatory requirement. This problem is especially acute with personnel-tracking technologies. One or more in-mine test beds would be ideal for solving this problem. However, given the rate at which coal mining advances underground, and the need for the typical mining infrastructure to enable the test bed, it would be practically impossible to establish and maintain such a test bed over a reasonable period. Thus an alternative is required to facilitate a meaningful performance comparison among technologies and specific manufacturer implementations of those technologies.
Contract Status & Impact
Further contract details pending.