Underground 4D+ Positioning, Navigation and Mapping System

As part of the interdisciplinary project UPNS4D+ (Underground 4D+ Positioning, Navigation and Mapping System for the highly selective, efficient and highly safe extraction of economically strategic mineral resources; funded by the BMBF), a mining positioning, navigation and mapping system was developed for the first time. For this purpose, a consortium of sensor and vehicle manufacturers, control station software developers and universities worked together with indurad GmbH as consortium leader.

The complete system consists of a reconnaissance vehicle (Fritz Rensmann GmbH & Co KG, FH Aachen, AMT RWTH Aachen), a production vehicle (indurad GmbH, GHH Fahrzeuge GmbH), a control station (XGraphic Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH) and database system (FH Aachen) as well as data processing for the extraction of mining relevant features (TU Bergakademie Freiberg, MILAN Geoservice GmbH).

The developed autonomous exploration system demonstrates systematically, with the autonomous locomotion in the underground area, how the prerequisite for an autonomous mining can be fulfilled without installation of additional stationary infrastructure. The main application is the automatic recording and thus mapping of mine workings with subsequent data processing and data preparation in a specially developed database. Here, for example, geometric and geological feature extractions are carried out and high-resolution maps of the scanned mine workings are extracted and exported for the navigation of production vehicles. Exported maps in turn form the basis for navigation and thus for autonomous production vehicles.

The reconnaissance vehicle was successfully demonstrated, as was a semi-autonomous drive of the production vehicle equipped with innovative, production-ready sensors for environmental monitoring in the anhydrite mine of Maxit Baustoffe GmbH in Krölpa.