This U.S. Bureau of Mines report describes the implications of in- mine ground control on the automated or remotely controlled operation of longwall mining equipment. Perhaps the greatest challenge to longwall automation researchers is the development of systems that will continuously function in the complex and unpredictable underground environment. The high degree of environmental variability, together with conditions brought about by the extraction process, makes complete automation of longwall mining a difficult task. The intellectual thought processes and split- second decision making required to avert disasters are lost when workers are removed from the face. As many mine operators can attest, minor problems, left unresolved, can eventually accumulate and lead to catastrophic consequences. The automation process will have to assess and manage various routine problems that are otherwise resolved through worker observation and experience.