Outcomes of the Landmark Longwall Automation Project with Reference to Ground Control Issues

Kelly, Michael
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2005
Inertial navigation technology has, for the first time, allowed the position of a longwall shearer to be mapped in three dimensions. Following the success of the technology in highwall mining and successful trials on a longwall face, the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP) commissioned a three year "Landmark" project that aimed to advance longwall automation to the level of "on-face observation" by the end of 2004. This project has been completed with the following successful technical outcomes: Automatic face alignment was achieved, using an inertial navigation-based sensor on the shearer, to accurately measure face geometry and feedback signals used to move OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) roof supports. Operational on-line measurement of creep with creep information incorporated into face alignment corrections. Inertial Navigation System (INS)-based enhanced horizon control was bench-tested. Operational broadband communications system to shearer using wireless Ethernet on a commercial-product basis. Acquisition of located coal-face features for use in thermal infrared-based horizon control. Automated Longwall Information System (LIS) developed which integrates information from multiple systems and sensors and provides high quality visualisation and control interfaces. Automatic roadway and face convergence monitoring tools successfully tested. Condition monitoring tools developed and demonstrated for improved face reliability. This paper summarises the outcomes of the project and describes the work being undertaken for the 2 year Landmark Extension project approved in April 2005. Consistent with the conference theme, the paper focuses on the ground control aspects of the project.
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