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Computer-assisted Continuous Coal Mining System--research Program Overview.

Schnakenberg GH Jr.
MISSING :15 pages
Automation of coal mining activities at the face offers improvements in worker safety, health, and productivity. Introduction of integrated computer-sensor systems to current mining machines will enable these machines to perform some of the most hazardous tasks through supervised teleoperation. The U.S. Bureau of Mines is pursuing the development of the enabling technology necessary to achieve this goal. The research program consists of both basic and applied research, each focused on the fundamental issues of computer and sensor technologies. Short-term research is directed to providing computer-assisted, remote supervisory operation of present underground equipment; the long-term goal is the development of progressively more intelligent mining systems. The research program includes a review of robotic machine and autonomous vehicle technologies and of current mining technology, which provides a base for developing innovative mining methods; research in navigation and guidance technology, emphasizing control of a continuous mining machine; research on coal-rock interface sensing technology for horizon control, and rib thickness control in highwall mining; the development of computer systems and hierarchical architectures for real-time control; and development of expert systems for machine system fault diagnostics and predictive maintenance. This report presents a brief background and the current status for each of these research areas.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Information Circular;
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
IC 9227
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Page last reviewed: November 26, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division