The Bureau of Mines, in conjunction with a U.S. cooperator, is jointly developing new technology to economically mine a greater percentage of coal reserves in highwall outcrop settings. This new mining system features a computer-based remote control subsystem for distant, out-of-the-line-of-sight control of a thin-seam continuous miner and coal haulage units. A single operator, situated within a protective enclosure on a highwall bench at an ergonomically designed workstation, controls all the coal extraction and haulage equipment that penetrate into the coal seam deep within the hillside. This workstation consists of a special task chair, two control modules, two color video monitors, an array of displays, and a control computer. Details of this operator workstation, a summary of the overall highwall mining system and current test status are discussed.
Chinese Soc. Met., V. 1, 1988, PP. 362-373