Application of Geotechnical Sensing Equipment to Improve Safety and Productivity in Soft Rock Mining

Erika Sonja Hütter

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis (University Course)


A widely used type of machinery for extracting coal is the continuous miner, e.g. the Sandvik MC470. During mining operations, the variance in the geological setting of a sedimentary deposit such as coal poses a core risk. The strata encountered, their condition, characteristics and spatial course as well as changes of all of these factors can negatively affect mining procedure, operational safety and product quality. However, state of the art geophysical methods can address some of the issues such as uncut coal thickness and significant changes in strata or abnormal geology. To make the best use of such capabilities in a mining operation, these methods have to be deployed on machinery during the excavation process. In this report the need for and the available options of geo-sensing, technology on a continuous miner was investigated. The starting point was an evaluation of the geology challenges encountered when mining with a continuous miner. This yielded a number of needs involved with the primary task, which is steering of the machine according to a required mining horizon. A screening of suitable technologies and methods with regard to their application on a continuous miner showed that several developments and tests have taken place but no off-the-shelf strata recognition system is available. Nevertheless, promising systems, such as the Horizon Sensor HS-3 of Stolar Horizon, do exist. The implementation and use of this system on the Sandvik continuous miner MC470 was considered. It would enable uncut coal thickness measurement, forward detection of abnormal geology and determination of drum sump depth.
Translated title of the contributionApplication of Geotechnical Sensing Equipment to Improve Safety and Productivity in Soft Rock Mining
Original languageEnglish
  • Moser, Peter, Supervisor (internal)
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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