Public pressure is mounting against disasters in tunneling projects. Many recommendations for elimination of these disasters involve removing or protecting man from hazardous conditions in underground operations through automation of the excavation process. Although these recommendations for automation would help prevent loss of life in tunnel mishaps, much development is needed before man can be removed from tunneling and mining activities conducted underground. [the goal of the workshop on sensors of automation sponsored by the National Science Foundation and held at Lexington, Massachusetts, April 10- 12, 1973, was to identify research and development in sensors needed to improve productivity and enhance the overall quality of life in the United States.] the workshop presentations emphasized four operational areas: industry, medicine, distribution, and hazardous environments. As part of the information presented in the hazardous environments session, this paper identifies emerging technologies for rapid, hard-rock excavation which will require automation and associated sensor development before these technologies can find practical application in tunneling and mining.
Proc. Res. Workshop on Sensors for Auto., 4/73. the Charles Stark Draper Labs, 11/73, Pp 102-48