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Title: Underground communications and tracking technology advances

Abstract

As the June 2009 deadline set by the MINER Act grows near, several technologies have emerged as possible options for communicating and tracking underground coal miners in the event of an emergency or disaster. NIOSH is currently deciding how best to invest $10 million assigned by Congress under an Emergency Supplementary Appropriations Act (ESA) to research and develop mine safety technology. Medium and ultra high frequency (UHF) systems seem to be leading the pack with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags serving as the tracking system. Wireless mesh systems can serve as a communications infrastructure and they can do much more. Even more technologies continue to emerge, such as inertial navigation tracking systems. Mines are discovering the wonders of modern voice and data communications underground. Still no one know if it is economically practical to design a system that will function after a coal mine explosion. From the nineteen systems submitted to MSHA's request for information (RFI), six systems were selected that represented most of the technologies that had been proposed: the Rajant Breadcrumb, Innovative Wireless, Concurrent Technologies/Time Domain, Transtek, Gamma Services, and the Kutta Consulting systems. They were tested at CONSOL Energy's McElroy mine in April 2006. MSHA felt thatmore » all of those systems needed a significant amount of work before they were ready for use in a underground coal mining environment. The agency continues to work with these, and other manufacturers, to assist in arranging for field demonstration and then to gain MSHA approval.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20892668
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Coal Age; Journal Volume: 112; Journal Issue: 3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; UNDERGROUND MINING; COMMUNICATIONS; USA; OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY; US MSHA; US NIOSH; COAL MINERS; ACCIDENTS; EMERGENCY PLANS; SAFETY STANDARDS; GHZ RANGE; MHZ RANGE

Citation Formats

Fiscor, S. Underground communications and tracking technology advances. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Fiscor, S. Underground communications and tracking technology advances. United States.
Fiscor, S. Thu . "Underground communications and tracking technology advances". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_20892668,
title = {Underground communications and tracking technology advances},
author = {Fiscor, S.},
abstractNote = {As the June 2009 deadline set by the MINER Act grows near, several technologies have emerged as possible options for communicating and tracking underground coal miners in the event of an emergency or disaster. NIOSH is currently deciding how best to invest $10 million assigned by Congress under an Emergency Supplementary Appropriations Act (ESA) to research and develop mine safety technology. Medium and ultra high frequency (UHF) systems seem to be leading the pack with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags serving as the tracking system. Wireless mesh systems can serve as a communications infrastructure and they can do much more. Even more technologies continue to emerge, such as inertial navigation tracking systems. Mines are discovering the wonders of modern voice and data communications underground. Still no one know if it is economically practical to design a system that will function after a coal mine explosion. From the nineteen systems submitted to MSHA's request for information (RFI), six systems were selected that represented most of the technologies that had been proposed: the Rajant Breadcrumb, Innovative Wireless, Concurrent Technologies/Time Domain, Transtek, Gamma Services, and the Kutta Consulting systems. They were tested at CONSOL Energy's McElroy mine in April 2006. MSHA felt that all of those systems needed a significant amount of work before they were ready for use in a underground coal mining environment. The agency continues to work with these, and other manufacturers, to assist in arranging for field demonstration and then to gain MSHA approval.},
doi = {},
journal = {Coal Age},
number = 3,
volume = 112,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Thu Mar 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}