Mining Contract: Supplementary Technologies for Advanced Mine Communication Networks

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Contract # 200-2008-24628
Start Date 8/19/2008
End Date 12/31/2009
Research Concept

This contract will develop a Universal Signal Evaluation Package for 75- and 150-MHz bands, adapt a passive magnetic amplifier for 900-MHz, and investigate energy harvesting technologies. Prototype devices will be tested in a mine environment, as follows:

  • An existing universal signal evaluation package will be enhanced through additional recording and mapping capabilities at the 75-MHz and 150-MHz frequency bands. This will permit equitable evaluations of most wireless communication technologies underground.
  • An existing 2.4-GHz passive magnetic amplifier will be reconfigured for use at 900-MHz to increase antenna range and efficiency.
  • Portable energy harvesting techniques such as the Stirling Engine, wind generators, induced currents, heat capture, and piezoelectric power will be investigated for possible application underground to charge batteries.
Topic Area

Contract Status & Impact

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

Recording and mapping instruments for 75- and 150-MHz signal bands were delivered to NIOSH along with operation manuals for their use.

A small wind generator has been tested in the laboratory at velocities below six miles per hour and found to generate sufficient power for wireless communication nodes. A Stirling Engine has also been identified which can generate small amounts of power through magnetic induction by using a rare earth permanent magnet and a multiple turn coil.

A wireless access network has been installed in NIOSH's Safety Research Coal Mine to serve as a test bed for evaluating the signal recording and mapping instruments, the prototype energy harvesting, and future passive magnetic amplifier developed under this contract.

Wind turbine

Page last reviewed: July 18, 2016
Page last updated: September 25, 2014