Health and Safety CONFERENCE

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Mine Emergency Response System Project

Glenn Aitchison
Project Officer, Simtars

Information deficiencies during emergencies is increasingly seen as a critical issue for emergency response. Information should be gathered to provide “intelligence” about the underground conditions after a major incident, such as an explosion or rock fall. This project investigated four key areas related to information gathering:

  • Post explosion atmosphere monitoring:– An industry study into available, low powered, sensors were conducted. The study was to identify commercially available equipment to sample the mine atmosphere post an underground incident.
  • Ultra-resilient communication system:– An investigation was undertaken into the feasibility of components for a robust and resilient mine communication network. The network must survive an underground incident and be able to transmit information in and out of an underground mine environment.
  • Blast protection (or blast resilience):– The blast protection was evaluated through subjecting different shapes of enclosures to actual blasts, in an explosion propagation tube.
  • Navigational aids:– A series of test were undertaken to determine the suitability of using visible light, infra-red as well as radar to aid in self rescue. All test were undertaken in a “dusty”, or low-visibility, environment.

This paper will present the results obtained for each of the key areas and highlight the potential of such a system in an underground coal mine environment.