Mining Publication: Technology News 453 - Navigation and Control of Continuous Mining Systems for Coal Mining
The primary focus of the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) is to make mining safer and more healthful for mine workers. The USBM research program is developing technology that will allow computer-assisted operation of mechanized equipment normally used in underground room-and-pillar coal mining, while permitting workers to be located away from the hazardous coal extraction area (the face). Advanced navigation and control technologies are being developed for underground room-and-pillar and highwall coal mining that can be applied to commercially available mining equipment. The technology being developed uses off-the-shelf components, minimizing the effort required to adapt it to mining equipment. Because the new developments are completely modular, only the modules required in a particular application need be used on the system.