Underground » Health and Safety
Mine Site Technologies (MST) with the support ACARP and Centennial Coal, has completed the first stage of assessing the potential for replacement of "tag" boards in longwall moves with automated tracker and DPM/Air Quality monitoring system.
The overall aim of the project is to combine use of an automatic vehicle tracking system with real time monitoring of Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) and section air quantity to provide access control to panels based on real air quality data rather than assumed limits.
The project has been broken into two stages with this project being Stage 1, which is basically a scoping phase to confirm:
· The viability of using the existing TRACKER RS-485 network to take the DPM monitoring data to a database in real time;
· The options available in digital, Wi-Fi, based networks for doing the same;
· Preliminary review of how this data can be processed to determine if it is safe for vehicle to continue working; and
· Demonstrate how access control messages can be used to drive TRACKER display signs to stop vehicles, etc in a simple "Go-No Go" message, and at the same time send text messages to people underground via the PED System.
The project successfully demonstrated the above objectives. Importantly, it highlighted two key points for future development:
· The current DPM technology is not suitable to long term installation at a mine. A coal mine approved, fixed position DPM monitor needs to be available to make the system practical to install at a mine; and
· The use of digital networks as a potential communication and data backbone was confirmed, and highlighted the potential these higher bandwidth communication networks could offer in better handling the amount of data required and the interfaces to existing SCADA Systems.