Mining Contract: Full-Wave Modeling of MF Propagation

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Contract # 200-2010-36317
Start Date 9/30/2010
End Date 9/29/2013
Research Concept

The contractor will develop models of MF propagation in mines based on results simulated through full-wave electromagnetic models. Full-wave simulations will be able to accurately model the coupling of antennas to mine conductors as well as model the propagation through coal mines. Simulations and models will be developed over a three-year effort.

Topic Area

Contract Status & Impact

This contract is complete. To receive a copy of the final report, send a request to

This contract investigates medium frequency (MF) propagation in coal mines. This work focused primarily on determining the changes in velocity factor and attenuation constant in medium frequency propagation on transmission lines in coal mines by varying the coal mine earth materials, the transmission line geometry (i.e., position of wire conductors relative to the coal mine tunnel boundaries), and changing the total number of wire conductors.

As a result of this contract, NIOSH OMSHR obtained dozens of FEKO models (electromagnetic simulation software) that are extremely useful and accurate for studying MF propagation in coal mines. The hybrid method developed during the course of this contract provides a means to exhaustively study and optimize MF communication networks in coal mines for survivability. The models have provided invaluable insight into the parameters that influence the performance of MF radio signal propagation on mine conductors (transmission lines). The results could be used by MF vendors to enhance the performance of their MF systems through optimizing the installation configuration of their conductors.

Page last reviewed: 7/19/2016 Page last updated: 7/19/2016