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U.S. Bureau of Mines Coal Mining Automation--research Update.

Schnakenberg GH Jr.
Mng Auto : 4th Can Symp Saskatchewan 9/16-18/90 Saskatchewan Research Council Pp 179-191 :179-191
In the fall of 1988, at the 3d Canadian Symposium on Mining Automation, the U.S. Bureau of Mines described its research program directed towards automation in underground coal mines. In the 2 years since that time, significant progress has been made; several concepts have evolved into experimental systems that are undergoing tests in an experimental underground production environment. A new continuous mining machine was purchased and prepared for sensor- based, computer-controlled operation. Sensors to measure appendage position relative to the machine permit the control of appendage movements by specifying the desired final position. Sensing systems including a gyroscope, a scanning laser-based target angle sensor, and linear transducers have been developed to provide a measurement of machine position and orientation (yaw) relative to a known coordinate system at the face area. The software to utilize these machine position-yaw measurements for locomotion control was developed and demonstrated. Advances in technology for detecting whether the machine is cutting into roof or floor have been made. These techniques include using a thermal imaging camera to detect mining bit contact with a roof that is harder than coal. Progress in other important areas such as roof bolting and continuous haulage was briefly reviewed.
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 20-91
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Mng. Auto.: 4th Can. Symp., Saskatchewan, 9/16-18/90. Saskatchewan Research Council, Pp 179-191
Page last reviewed: December 3, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division