More safety and optimised processes in underground coal mining through environmental monitoring

According to investigations by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), 22% of all mining accidents in the USA can be attributed to limited visibility alone. Other potential hazards are also present: a wide variety of tasks require the full attention of machine operators and support personnel, so that the risk of putting oneself or others in dangerous situations is relatively high. A universal warning system - developed in the FEATureFACE project - serves to reduce these risks. The IMR (predecessor of the AMT) has implemented such a system together with several partners from industry.

Too many false alarms in existing systems

Recent developments in the USA and Australia in the field of collision avoidance systems have mainly resulted in technologies for local construction. The technology used, however, still has some inherent weaknesses, so that the systems trigger a relatively high number of false alarms. As a result, alarms are ignored or even turned off.
The world's first fail-safe security system

As part of the EU-funded FEATureFACE project, scientists at the IMR (AMT's predecessor institute) combined the strengths of several technologies to develop a multi-technology collision avoidance system: the world's first fail-safe safety system.
The principle concept of 360° monitoring of FEATureFACE using a roadheader as an example

A passive 2D radar was used for contour recognition (displayed as a hatched red area). Wide-range detection was achieved using an RFID/RTOF system (represented by the orange circular radiation). In addition, an electromagnetic field strength-based system was used at close range (shown in blue).