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THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES
Prasant Kumar Misra
Student ID: z3229880 A thesis research proposal submitted in partial fulﬁllment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy School of Computer Science & Engineering University of New South Wales June 15, 2009 Supervisor : Prof. Sanjay Jha
Network Research Lab (NRL) CSE, UNSW, Sydney, Australia.
Co-supervisor : Diet Ostry
CSIRO, Sydney, Australia.
Abstract Wireless sensor network (WSN) provide the potential for the extension of the wireless network in areas that could have never been imagined. One such potential sensor application research is Underground Mine Location Sensing System based on Wireless Sensor Networks. Underground mines are extensive labyrinths. The mine tunnels are long and narrow. They are usually a few kilometers in length but only a few meters in width. They employ hundreds of mining personnel working at any point of time under extreme conditions. It is a recognizable fact that the underground mining operations involve a high level of risk. Hundreds of miners die from mining accidents every year. To ensure the safety of workers and perform co-ordination of tasks, a communication and location sensing system is one of the more important infrastructures that needs to be deployed. This system is expected to deliver satisfactory performance in terms of communicating and performing location estimation in routine and rescue operations. The current state-of-the art communication technology used in underground mines are challenged by various limitations. Communication and tracking systems in underground mines is an area that has not been actively researched as contemporary surface based systems. There are few existing system and there is limited information regarding the actual implementation of the tracking systems. This implies that location sensing is an unsolved problem in mines and there is a need for technological improvement in order to cater to the challenging underground mining conditions. This research seeks to design and develop a sophisticated underground mine location sensing system using wireless sensor networks for tracking personnel and machinery inside the mine that is able to mitigate the limitations faced by present systems. The lack of dependence on ﬁxed infrastructure and robust operation will aid in locating trapped personnel in the event of an emergency. The proposed methodology is based on designing a new prototype sensor mote that would be able to withstand the harsh mining environment. Implementing the solution at the low level would not only provide the ﬂexibility of better signal control and modulation but would also empower the system with better signal processing algorithms for effective noise ﬁltering. The existing solutions have not been able to cater to this challenge because of weak solutions implemented at the lower protocol stack levels and then performing extreme customization at the higher levels which are not worth the investment. The solution will be tested and evaluated in a real world underground mine. The research problem provides an opportunity for cross-disciplinary research in computer science and mining engineering.
Introduction 1.1 1.2 1.3 Motivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Aim of the Thesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Research Proposal Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 16
Underground Mines : An Insight 2.1 2.2
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 2.2.1 2.2.2 Underground Channel Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Underground Communication Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 18.104.22.168 22.214.171.124 126.96.36.199 2.2.3 Through-the-Wire (TTW) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Through-the-Air (TTA) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Through-the-Earth (TTE) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Existing Underground Communication Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
A Survey of Underground Mine Tracking Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 2.3.1 2.3.2 2.3.3 2.3.4 2.3.5 2.3.6 2.3.7 The Location and Monitoring System for Personal Safety (LAMPS) . . 28 The Nexsys Real-time risk management system for underground mines 28
The Emergency two-way communications for underground miners . . . 28 Wireless location technologies for tracking and data collection . . . . . 29 The Trapped Miner Locating System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 The Electromagnetic Location System for Trapped miners . . . . . . . 29 The Personal Emergency Device (PED) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 1
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . . .3. .3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 2. . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . 42 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . .19 The Mine Net Tracking System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 The Smart Tag Resource Tracking System . . . . . . . 37 Approach and Justiﬁcation . . 33 2. . 30 2. 42 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 The Subterranean Wireless Communication System (SWECS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 The Digital Radio for Underground Miners (DRUM) . . . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.11 The RadCAT . . . . . . . . . .1 General Requirements . . .3. . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . 32 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 3. . . . . . . . . . .8 2. .9 The TRACKER Tagging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 2. . . . . . . . . . .10 The Delta Electromagnetic (DeltaEM) Gradiometer Beacon Tracking System . . . . . . . . . . . 31 2. . . . . 34 2. 30 2. . . . . . . . . .1 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 The TramGuard Miner Track System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . .18 The AXON Transceivers . . . . . .4 Introduction . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . .2 3. .4. .22 The Wi-Fi based Real-time Tracking . . . . . . . . 35 2. . . . . . . . . 32 2. . .3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 2.3.26 The MineAX Tracking and Tagging . . . . . . . . 34 2. . .24 The Mine Rescue System . 32 2. . . . .3. . . . . . .4 3 Summary . . 30 The TeleMag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 The Canary 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 The IPMine . . . . . . 34 2. . . 33 2. . . . . . . 31 2. .17 The BreadCrumb . . . .3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Proposed Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . .3. . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . 34 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 The BeckerTag . . . . . . . .15 The TramGuard Proximity Warning System . . . . . . .3. . . . . . . 35 37 Methodology 3. . . . .3. . 35 2. 38 Proposed system overview and architecture . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . . . .23 The Mine-NET .21 The RFID: Multi-read Radio Frequency Identiﬁcation and Tracking . . . . . . . . 35 2. .
.2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 4 Network Topology and Protocols . .4 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Summary . . . . . . . . 55 Concurrent Work . . . .2. . . . . . . . 49 Summary . . . . . . . . .2 Procedure for the generation of the chirp signal . . . . . . .4.3 3. . . . . . . . .9 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 63 Future Work and Conclusion Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . 55 5. . . . . . 65 3 . . . .4. . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 52 Research Plan 4. . . 52 Research program timetable . . .4. . . . . . . . . . . .3 6 Summary . . . . .5 Wireless sensor network design challenges . . . . . . . . . 54 55 5 Preliminary Work 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.5. . . . . 43 System Functionality . . . . . . . . . . . .1 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4. . .4 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 5.4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 3. . . . . . . . . 59 5. .2 Chirp generation using the US sensors . . . . . 48 On Board Data Processing . . . 45 Software Platform . . .2. . . 49 Auto-Localization of the anchor nodes .8 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 3. . . . . . . . .2.4. . . . . . 49 Localization Algorithm . . . . . . . . . . .1 Improving the accuracy and distance ranging of ultrasound-based Cricket localization systems . . . . . .2 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5. . . . . . . . 60 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2. . . 44 System Platform . .2 Hardware Platform . . . . . .3 4. . 44 System Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 3.4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 5. . . . 47 3.1 General waveform generation technique in ATmega 128 microcontroller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 4. . . 45 3. . . . . . .4. . . . .4. . . .4. . . . . . . . . . . . .6 3. . . . . . 52 Tentative Thesis Chapter Outline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 5. . . . . .
. . . . . .1 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Radio Physical Properties . . . . . . . . .2 4. . . . 53 Selected frequencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .List of Tables 2. . . 50 Research program timetable . . . . . . . . . . . .1 3. . . . . . . . . . .1 5. . . . . . . . . .2 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 System Core Features . . . 23 Underground Mine Tracking Systems . . . . . . 62 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Frequency Band Range .
. . . Surface Mining  . . 58 5 . . . . . . . . . .3 3. . . . . . .4 5. 10 Explosion in a mine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Underground Mining  . . . . . . . . .2 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Communication within various levels inside the mine . . . . . . . . . . . .3 2. . . . . . .7 3. . . . . . . 12 Summary of the mining problems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Water inside the mine . . . .1 Continental view of mining activities . .6 2. . . . . . . . . 48 Hardware implementation of the sensor mote . . . . . 17 Muddy conditions inside the mine  . . . . . . . . . . .5 1. . . . . .1 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Node based tracking systems : A Wireless Mesh . . . . 7 8 8 9 Mine disasters: A comparsion between China and the rest of the world. . . . . 11 Roof fall inside a mine . . 21 RFID Tag based communication . . . . . . . .List of Figures 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Underground communication techniques. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 1. . . 49 Modiﬁed Cricket setup with the 3-US transducer array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Chirp based ranging technique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 1. . . . . . .8 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . View of a mine tunnel which are usually long and narrow . . . . . . .5 2. . . . 12 Walls of the mine have been strengthned with wooden grids . . . . .1 3. . . .4 2. . . . . .1 1. . . . . . 46 Communication within each level inside the mine . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 1. . . . . . . . . .2 3. 20 Communication achieved through Leaky Feeder cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 2. . . . . . . . . .
As the Internet has revolutionized people’s lives readily through the exchange of diverse forms of information among large number of users. use 6 . They are deployed either inside the phenomena or very close to it. low power wireless communication. The other features that make them attractive are that they have a low cost.Chapter 1 Introduction In recent years. they use processing abilities to locally carry out simple computation and transmit only the required and partially processed data. the rapid development in miniaturization. ad-hoc networks protocols and pervasive computing have given Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) new technological possibilities. micro sensor and microprocessor hardware. small-scale energy supplies in conjunction with a signiﬁcant progress in distributed signal processing. A Wireless Sensor Network is composed of sensor nodes that are autonomous devices with integrated sensing and wireless communication facilities. Sensor nodes are ﬁtted with an on-board processor. in the near future. WSNs may. Instead of sending the raw data to the nodes responsible for the data fusion. be equally signiﬁcant by providing information on the physical phenomena of interest and ultimately being able to detect and control these phenomenon or enable the construction of more accurate models of the physical world.
applications of wireless sensor networks will appear in areas that could never have been imagined.1: Continental view of mining activities . sensor nodes can share and process their observations. It can be dated as back as the iron and bronze age to the age of industrial revolution and is one of the major driving forces in building the infrastructure of the present information age. The ﬂexibility offered by this technology will soon cross over into myriads of domains. The mining industry has played an important role in the development and sustenance of civilization. The global mining industry has been dominated by countries that include USA. Individually. Figure 1. called a sink node. deploying these sensors on a large scale across an area of interest can be more effective.1). as a result of which meaningful information is available at the sink node.low power. they offer excellent remote monitoring capabilities. Canada. The 7 . Users can retrieve this information to ascertain the status of the monitored region. South Africa and Chile. Placing the sensors in hostile or inaccessible regions may allow for data collection which was previously impossible. Such a network can easily collect sensor data and transmit them by radio and the accuracy of the information can be greatly improved via collaboration of a group of sensor nodes. Hence. One such potential sensor application research is an Underground Mine Location Sensing System based on Wireless Sensor Networks. have a small size and short transmission range and that their positions need not be predetermined. mining takes place in all the continents of the world (Fig. However. and report their observations to a client. In the network. Mining is the process of extracting the mineral as economically as possible . Wireless sensor networks can provide the means to link the physical world to the digital world. In the future. these resource constrained devices appear to be of little value. Sensor nodes monitor the activities of a set of objects in a sensing region. through the wireless medium. Australia. 1. Apart from Antarctica where a treaty was signed for banning mining activities .
1. Underground mining (Fig.2: Surface Mining  Figure 1.3: Underground Mining  Surface mining method is employed when the minerals are found closer to the surface . Surface mining (Fig. 1. This method is suitable when the surface deposits covering the mineral is relatively less or when the material is deemed unsuitable for tunneling. 8 .2) 2. Underground mining method is used when the mineral deposits are found deep below the surface of the earth .3) Figure 1.mining activity has been broadly divided into 2 major categories: 1.
4: View of a mine tunnel which are usually long and narrow . 2006. To better understand this danger. They employ hundreds of mining personnel working at any point of time under extreme conditions. accounting for about 80% of the world’s total mine accidents. together with a dynamic mining system generates a variable proﬁle of risks.4). Hence. It is a intuitive fact that the underground mining operations involve a high level of risk as compared to most other industries. The Beaconsﬁeld mine collapse  that occurred on the 25 April. 2006 in Beaconsﬁeld. USA near the Upshur County seat of Buckhannon. The Sago Mine disaster was a coal mine explosion on January 2. 1. The blast and ensuing aftermath trapped 13 miners for nearly two days out of which only one of them survived . the overall mining process is mobile and the mining machines have to be shifted as the mining operation progresses consequently encountering a constantly changing environment. although it produces only 35% 9 . West Virginia. Figure 1. the ore reserves or minable deposits are ﬁxed in the ground and are available in variable chunks over a long distance. It was a triggered by a seismic activity that resulted in the rock fall at the mine and it claimed the life of a miner.1 Motivation Underground mines are extensive labyrinths. In a manufacturing system. China is the worst effected by mining accidents. Tasmania is the latest in the record of Australian mining disasters. Hundreds of miners die from mining accidents every year. in mining. The combination of the ever changing ground conditions. On the other hand. China currently accounts for the largest number of coal-mining fatalities. The mine tunnels are long and narrow (Fig.  presented an analogy between mining operations and a manufacturing system. They are usually a few kilometers in length but only a few meters in width.1. all the processes take place using raw materials inside a controlled factory environment. in the Sago Mine in Sago.
It would be expected to deliver satisfactory performance in terms of communicating 10 .5). 2005 in Fuxin city in the Liaoning province of China. A comprehensive list of mining accidents and diasters have been compiled in  while  gives a historical data of mine disasters in the US. China on 13 November 2006. 25. underground structure monitoring [24. 24 miners were killed in this accident. 28] and providing a way out of the mine in case of disaster as well as monitoring dust concentration  and the risk of water irruption . A brief overview of the various problems and challenges faced in an underground mine includes the requirement for monitoring gas concentrations [22.7). determining the location of miners [27. Consequently to ensure the safety of workers and to perform the co-ordination of tasks. 23] which mainly include methane which can lead to mine explosions when they exceed a threshold level (Fig. 2008 when a mine wall collapsed after torrential rains and it claimed the life of 11 miners. Figure 1. The Shandong coal mine ﬂood  was an accident that occured on August 28. A fatal gas explosion took place at the Nanshan Colliery  in Lingshi County. the capital of Shanxi province of China on 21 Feburary 2009. Shanxi Province. Shandong. 1. 1. China when heavy rains caused a river to burst a levee creating ﬂood in two mine shafts killing 181 miners.6). 2007 in Xintai. It registered a record death of 214 miners. 1. a communication and location sensing system is one of the indespensible piece of infrastructure that needs to be deployed. This accident recorded a death toll of 74 miners with 114 injured people who were being treated for carbon-monoxide poisoning. Jinzhong. 26] as the unstable nature of geological construction in mines makes an underground tunnel prone to structural changes (Fig. It was the result of a gas explosion that was triggered by an earthquake. The Shanxi mudslide  was another mine disaster that occured 8 September. The Sunjiawan mine disaster  took place on February 14. The list of mining accidents and disasters is endless.5: Mine disasters: A comparsion between China and the rest of the world.of the world’s coal  (Fig. The Shanxi mine blast  occured in a mine in Gujiao city near Taiyuan.
Communication and tracking systems in underground mines is an area that has not been as actively researched as contemporary surface based systems. the availability of the following information would be extremely useful: 1. The environment conditions along the rescue path to the trapped miners that include temperature and concentration of methane or other undesirable gases. The location of trapped miners. The current state-of-the art communication technology used in underground mines are challenged by various limitations which prevent the above requirements from being satisfactorily addressed. In order to enhance rescue efforts in the event of a mine accident. There are few existing systems and there is limited information regarding the actual implementation of the tracking systems presented in the previous section. This implies that location sensing is an unsolved problem in mines and there is a need for technological improvement in order to cater to the challenging underground mining conditions. 2. Figure 1. The above observation reiterate the need for a cutting edge communication solution.and performing estimation of location in routine and rescue operations. 11 .6: Explosion in a mine . 3. The two way communication between the trapped miners and the surface control station. Currently available tracking systems only register when a person passes a certain location which presents a very limited application scenario.
ﬁres and explosions. In this thesis. Using WSNs. 1. While we have deﬁned the problem space. Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are the most plausible portable wireless systems. A portable wireless system would be the best option in mines because it offers the best resistance to damage from roofs falls inside the mines.8: Summary of the mining problems.8) with this problem requires a scope that is beyond a PhD research thesis. the moving miners and machinery can estimate their location by 12 . Figure 1. the system can be carried by miners and it does not require pre-existing infrastructure in terms of pre-installed antennas. we will focus on designing a novel Underground Location Sensing System that would not only provide a desirable location estimation of the miners and keep a track of their moving locations but also be reliable and robust in delivering its routine functions in the event of mine disasters and accidents.Figure 1.7: Roof fall inside a mine . it is clear that addressing all the challenges associated (Fig. Besides that.
33]. In addition. In addition. With a moderate upgrade of the processor used in the sensor nodes. We believe that the location sensing scheme should be implemented as low in the protocol stack as possible. Nevertheless. we propose to build it using light weight TCP/IP stack [32. the 13 . Therefore. For example.co-operating with nearby objects by sharing the sensor data in order to minimize the overall location error. The existing solutions have not been able to cater to this challenge because of weak solutions implemented at the lower protocol stack levels and then performing extreme customization at the higher levels which are not worth the investment. current Internet technology is highly ﬂexible in adopting and running over diversiﬁed link layer technologies. it can be enhanced to monitor gas and dust concentration inside the mines and the stability of underground structures with the addition of a few extra sensors. we believe that the proposed system should not only be functional as a separate entity but should be able to seamlessly integrate with the existing wired or wireless communication infrastructure in the mines. it can be made to operate over the Internet as well. upon further customization and development. the prime challenge for developing a location sensing system for underground mines is that the communication signal should be able to sustain its signal characteristics under the extremely hostile mining environment. We believe that the level of interoperability should be customized to such an extent that the proposed system would be able to swap over multiple link layer technologies. Additionally. the ﬁne tuning and standardization of the system from the lowest protocol stack level and then building better and effective solutions on every level of the protocol stack would result in an improved location sensing system. Though the Internet was initially designed and developed for low speed networks. As the latest tracking systems being developed for the mining industry are based on digital data networks . In order to achieve this cross functionality. Designing and developing a solution at the low level would not only provide the ﬂexibility of better signal control and modulation but would also empower the system with better signal processing algorithms for effective noise ﬁltering. fast and efﬁcient object tracking can be performed. A solution developed on the network or application layer of the protocol stack would be excellent for delivery of the data to the control station using optimum network capacities as well as presenting the information in various interactive formats for the monitoring personnel to better gauge the situation. the proposed location sensing system should have the ability to integrate itself with the conceivable solutions in the future. implementing the solution at the lower layer for example the PHYSICAL layer would require the solution to be changed for different communication technologies. However. especially at the physical and link layers. This thesis will also consider the layer upon which such a solution should be developed.
if it comes in contact with any other high power radio such as the Wi-Fi/Wireless mesh access points. there would be a requirement to design and develop a novel communication stack which would exceed the scope of the research.sensor mote should be autonomously capable of communication with other motes using its own low power radio. In order to achieve this level of cross-functionality. 14 . in the process of movement. then the sensor mote should be able to communicate with these high-end radios through soft handoffs by changing its end-points without any data loss. The limitation in research scope will be circumvented by using an adaptive communication stack known as Rime  which is presently the part of the Contiki operating system  designed for memory constrained networked embedded systems. However.
1.1. The system design will be guided by empirical models of the characterization of wireless communication in harsh mining conditions. The solution will be tested and evaluated in a real-world underground mine. In the event of a calamity. realtime delivery of sensed data will improve the response time and the lack of dependence on ﬁxed infrastructure and robust operations will aid in locating trapped personnel. Chapter 6 outlines the scope of future work in the respective ﬁeld of research and concludes the thesis research proposal. it aims to pioneer research and development with regards to building the next generation location sensing systems in harsh environmental conditions. Besides that. The research problem provides an opportunity for cross-disciplinary research in computer science and mining engineering.2 Aim of the Thesis The thesis aims to design and develop a sophisticated underground mine location sensing system using wireless sensor networks for tracking personnel and machinery inside the mine that are able to mitigate the limitations faced by the present systems. The research plan has been listed in Chapter 4. The concurrent work that has been done in this regard has been explained in Chapter 5. The following Chapter 3 outlines the methodology that would be applied in solving the research problem. 15 .3 Research Proposal Organization Chapter 2 presents a literature review that explains the relation of my research with the significant literature and recent/current research on this problem. Though the immediate motivation in designing this system is the underground mines but the fundamental aim is to provide guidance in developing futuristic systems for surveillance in hazardous consitions by benchmarking the system robustness.
1 Introduction In order to develop an engineering and scientiﬁc foundation. 16 . The purpose of this chapter is twofold. it aims to provide an orientation to the readers regarding the environmental extremeties present inside the underground mines. This would facilitate in the better understanding for the design of an improved location sensing system. Secondly. Firstly.Chapter 2 Underground Mines : An Insight 2. it presents a review that explains the relation of the research with respect to recent/current research on this problem which includes the description of the underground mine (UG) communication techniques along with existing communication systems and a survey of the UG mine tracking systems. understanding the underground channel characteristics along with the challenges faced by wired and wireless communication solutions is necessary.
1: Walls of the mine have been strengthned with wooden grids .1) and metal .2: Water inside the mine • The dynamic change in underground topology : The walls of the mines may shift daily as a result of the cutting of the mineral faces. 2. Some parts of the wall and ceilings are strengthened with wooden grids (Fig.2. ﬁrst-aid stations and blockages. 17 . the general conditions that are noteworthy can be stated as follows: Figure 2.2. Underground mines are structurally non-uniform.2. 2. escape ways.3). As the thesis focus is on the communication inside the mines. They contain many crosscuts.2 Background The underground mining environment is remarkably different from the conditions present on the surface. Most of the hallways have railroads on the ground. The walls are rough and the ground surface is uneven and may have small amounts of accumulated water (Fig. Figure 2.
3: Muddy conditions inside the mine  • The unstable nature of geological construction : A mineral face consists of safe and collapse zones. However. then the oxidation heat is released from the coal and gives way to ﬁres . • Humid and warm conditions : The relative humidity is greater than 90% and the temperature is approximately 28 degrees .Figure 2. When the concentration of Methane exceeds the threshold value. • Ionized air : The air gets ionized as a result of ﬁres inside the mine. it leads to gas blasts/coal-dust explosion . If the concentration of oxygen is more than 3%. The self ignition of coal seams results from an exothermic reaction of coal and oxygen. the power supply to the mines is often cut leading to the compromise of the ventilation system . In the safe zones. there are no supporters and they can easily collapse either when the zone becomes larger or in the event of mine quakes resulting in structural changes . in case of a disaster. • Low loss dielectric medium : At certain frequencies. In collapse zones. the mine tunnel acts a low-loss dielectric  resulting in the degradation of the communication system. there is continuous ventilation to decrease the build-up of the gas. These underground structures get carved and come into existence during the mineral extraction process. Hence. • Gaseous environment : The main component of the gases that effuse with the extraction of coal from the coal seams is Methane. there are hydraulic supporters to avoid collapses. 18 . • Limited Line-of-Sight (LOS): This arises from the presence of pillars and undulations following the mineral seam.
1 Underground Channel Properties The major factors that impact on communication with Electromagnetic (EM) waves in underground mines  can be summarized as follows: • Extreme path loss : Lower frequencies experience less attenuation than higher frequencies due to material absorption. • Multi-path fading : The random addition of multiple propagation paths causes ﬂuctuations in signal strength with position and frequency. Consequently. transmitters or receivers are moving. every mine has a unique environment. • Reﬂection/refraction : As mentioned above. The design and implementation of any communication solution needs to be carefully engineered as the slightest of issues can lead to a mine accident that could result in the loss of human life. Hence. an increase in undermine temperature would alter the dielectric properties and lead to increase in signal attenuation. The reﬂected waves may result in a completely new pattern that may not be recognized as information by the receiver. This ﬂow of current gives rise to EM radio waves with sufﬁcient intensity to interfere with radio communications. the dielectric property of the medium will change. • Reduced propagation velocity : Waves propagating through a dielectric medium would experience a reduced propagation velocity compared to that of air. and. the tunnel acts a low-loss dielectric at certain frequencies and leads to a waveguide effect. With the change in underground temperature. Clouds contain electrical charges that are evidenced as lightning strikes under stormy conditions. communication solutions need to be engineered that cater to these varying conditions. • Noise : The performance of the communication system is highly dependent on the EM noise in the environment. The rate of attenuation would increase with the increase in humidity as well.2. if reﬂectors. 2. Waves that impinge on a wall of the tunnel are partially refracted into the surrounding dielectric and partially reﬂected back into the waveguide resulting in signal losses. but as noise. also in time. A considerable amount 19 . The path loss increases as the square of the distance travelled by the wave.Besides these natural conditions present inside mines which pose challenges to electronic communication.
coax. The noise caused by electric motors.2. The most popular cable among these is the Leaky Feeder. It is designed to radiate over the entire length and hence derives the name 20 . Through-the-Wire (TTW) 2.2.2. Through-the-Air (TTA) 3.4: Underground communication techniques. power lines and appliances is in the frequency bands which are most suitable for underground communications . ﬁber optic and leaky feeder . trolley cable. which have a negative impact on the receivers. but in a realistic scenario. The type of cables used are twisted pair. 2. 2. voice frequencies (VF) and very low frequencies (VLF) frequency band. • Realistic waveguide effect : In an ideal waveguide effect.of noise ends up in the extremely low frequencies (ELF).2 Underground Communication Techniques There are 3 ways of communication inside mines : 1. CAT5 (specially constructed twisted pair).1 Through-the-Wire (TTW) The TTW communication technique utilizes the wired communication infrastructure present in the mine where the equipment that is carried by the mining personnel has to be tethered to a cable. electromagnetic waves are conﬁned and guided by the mine tunnel. the reﬂective and absorption losses along the path result in an increase in signal attenuation. Through-the-Earth (TTE) Figure 2.
feeding cables through borehole connection to main lines. it is subject to failure and wear and tear under the conditions of roof falls. material scattering. these methods are not only expensive but also add to the maintainenance and complexity of the system. They include putting the cable in a conduit(armor cable). In order to improve the reliability of the existing systems. However. Figure 2. loop-around and redundant cabling where multiple cables feed the same portion of the system .Leaky for this characteristic (Fig. The increase in signal range is the result of lesser attenuation rate by the cable compared to the free space propagation in the mine.5: Communication achieved through Leaky Feeder cables Although the performance of the TTW is moderately satisfactory for routine operations. the borehole cable protection method has its own set of problems that include impedance of the radio signal and being highly vulnerable towards water getting into the cables. power failure. burying the cable.5). Moreover. 2. various cable protection schemes have been applied. splice and bending losses result in attenuation of the signals in the wired medium. The material absorption. mine ﬁres and explosions. interference from other machinery and inadequate maintainability . 21 .
high voltage power cables operating inside the mines lead to signal interference and thus affect the propagational behavior of the signals. corner losses and require a clear line of sight for propagation. An EM wave can propagate in any one of a number of allowed waveguide modes. Heavy mining machineries. The refracted part propagates away from the waveguide and represents a power loss. Wall roughness and uneven tunnel cross section leads to an increase of the longitudinal attenuation. It does not experience the high noise levels of lower frequencies.2. They have high bandwidth and the devices using them would require small antennae. trolleys. • The mine acts as a waveguide to propagate signals at Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF). Transmission takes the form of waveguide propagation in the tunnel. At frequencies in the range of 200-400 MHz. With respect to coal mines. Other challenges include ionized air. However. These systems have limited bandwidth and require larger antennas than VHF/UHF systems. the propagation of some frequencies is enhanced by a waveguide effect due to the sandwiching of radio signals between layers of varying electrical properties. The frequency selection has a major impact on the signal propagation .2 Through-the-Air (TTA) The TTA communication technique refers to radio communication used in mines. • Medium Frequency (MF) have less attenuation characteristics than VHF and UHF signals. Both metalliferous and coal mines present an unique set of challenges for radio communication. they suffer from attenuation. • Extremely Low Frequency (ELF). adverse environment and mine dynamics. All of these are lossy modes as any part of the wave that impinges on a wall of the tunnel is partially refracted into the surrounding dielectric and partially reﬂected back into the waveguide. Very Low Frequency (VLF) and Low Frequency (LF) suffer less attenuation but can experience electrical interference from motors and other machinery.2. 22 .2. However. the electrical properties of coal attenuate certain frequencies more than others and hence a small fraction of the radio signals are able to propagate down the coal mine. The undulating structures inside the mine are unfavorable for TTA communication as it requires a clear line-of-sight for propagation. have signiﬁcant distance limitations and require large antennas for operation. the rock and the coal bounding in the coal mine acts as relatively low-loss dielectrics with dielectric constants in the range of 5-10 . These systems have limited bandwidth. since the wavelengths of the UHF waves are smaller than the tunnel dimensions.
3000 Hz Research has shown that MF offer better usability in underground mine communication. The general communication systems include the following: • Telephones : The basic operationality of the underground mine phones is similar to that of the surface-type phones.3000 KHz 30 . TTE communication systems prove to be superior as they do not require pre-existing cables/open-air communication technology and use ultra low frequency signals for communication . • Ground conduction : This consists of transmitting and receiving signals through the ground medium through ground stake connections. ﬂoor or ribs. The Private Branch Exchange (PBX) inside the mine is responsible for the make/break of the call and these telephones are interconnected by multiple 23 .30 Hz 30 .300 KHz 300 .300 MHz 300 .2. installed on the surface or underground.2. 2.2.1 gives the frequency band for each frequency.1: Frequency Band Range Abbreviation ELF VLF LF MF VHF UHF Name Extremely Low Frequency Very Low Frequency Low Frequency Medium Frequency Very High Frequency Ultra High Frequency Frequency Band 30 . The antenna is located on the mine surface which provides coverage to various parts of the mine. detect these signals. Trapped miners generate a seismic signal by pounding on the mine surface such as the roof. Geophone sensors. 2. • Seismic : The entire setup of the seismic communication system is carried on a truck and accessories need to be carried by the miners for location detection. Some of the TTE communication systems researched by the US Bureau of Mines are as follows and can be useful in certain critical situations. thus reducing the risk of damage in emergency. Table 2.3 Existing Underground Communication Systems The existing underground communication systems  can be broadly classiﬁed as general communication and tracking systems.300 Hz 3 .3 Through-the-Earth (TTE) The operating frequency that are used by the conventional systems is unable to penetrate the rock strata and becomes unoperational in the event of mine accidents.Table 2.
mine ﬁres and explosions. 2. Circuit breakers and lightning arrestors are responsible for protecting the system from sudden energy surges by limiting the electrical energy to safe levels. • Pager Phones : The pager phones are battery operated. The mobile units are subjected to constant vibration and suffer the temperature extremity along with humid and dusty conditions. The main advantage is that they provide communication to all the rail haulage vehicles using trolley cables but are limited in coverage.pair cables. bi-directional radio transceiver which has the appearance of telephone handset with an antennae. • Hoist Phones : It is a communication facility between the persons in the hoist cage (used to raise and lower conveyances within the mine shaft) and the surface/underground wherein a phone line directly connects the cage to the mine communication system. party line telephones with provision for loudspeaker paging. It is basically a half duplex communication system wherein only one person can talk at a time. 24 . • Trolley Phones : Trolley phones can be ﬁxed or mobile (carried on locomotives). • Walkie Talkie : It is a portable. they are able to recognize the object by the coded RF signal emitted. As it passes the tag readers pre-positioned at ﬁxed locations throughout the mine. This information is sent to a central location for monitoring (Fig. They provide a wireless communication system with an better coverage area but have to be used in conjunction with leaky feeder cables and line ampliﬁers for signal transmission across corners and bents.6). These telephone systems are easy to use but are vulnerable to damage from roof falls. The tracking systems include the following: • RFID Tag based communication : It consists of Radio Frequency Identiﬁcation (RFID) tags that is carried by the workers/machinery. It is cheap and simple but is noisy even in the usual transmission mode. The transmission lines pass across various mining machineries which result in degradation of the communication quality.
2. Resolution depends on number of readers installed in a surveillance area.7). Resolution depends on the number of nodes and the ﬁdelity of the signal processing technique (Fig.3 A Survey of Underground Mine Tracking Systems The underground mine tracking systems can be classiﬁed into the following types based on the tracking type .6: RFID Tag based communication 2.Figure 2. The location is determined by identifying the node with which the miner was able to communicate. • Zone/Proximity based systems : They are able to detect the presence of the object in a particular region. • Autonomous systems : They determine the location independent of any deployed mine infrastructure. • Node based systems : A radio device capable of communicating with other nodes is carried by the miner. The RFID based systems belong to this category. 25 .
Bureau of Mines. WiFi. EM deep mine transmitter. VoIP. CSIR (South Africa) are some of the noteworthy names in this regard. As per the US government regulations for mines. Bureau of Mines had extensively focused its research on operational and post-disaster communication systems during the period from 70s to 80s . adaptive transmitter systems. CSIRO (Australia).Figure 2. Designing and developing such systems for underground mines should have certain de facto standards.S. multiplexed communication system. Cell phone technology.  gives a complete list of MSHA approved communication and tracking technologies. Wireless Mesh Networks. The U.  gives a list of the ideal requirements for conﬁned space communication systems. There are many research agencies and manufacturers that have conducted extensive research on developing effective tracking systems for underground mines. electrical communication devices have to be approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) as permissible. This lead to development of numerous mining communication products that include selectable pager phones. visual paging. Permissibility can be achieved through Explosion Proof (XP) 26 .S. TTE voice communication and many more. A detailed list is available at     . The U. Ethernet. UHF extended system.7: Node based tracking systems : A Wireless Mesh The latest tracking systems are based on digital data networks which include TCP/IP.
USA AMR. USA Embigence. Canada Node based Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based Kutta Consulting. USA GeoSteering.2 categorizes the tracking systems discussed in the following subsections based on the type of tracking. An assessment of performance and limitations has not been described as the utilization of these products in mines is presently not known and the compiled information is from the respective company websites which feature mostly on the promised functionality. Australia Tracking Category Zone/Proximity based 27 . USA Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based CSIRO. USA Rajant. Canada Tunnel Radio. Austria Mine Site Technologies. Table 2.and Intrinsically Safe (IS) designs. Australia CSIRO. Table 2. Germany Davis Derby. Australia Mine Site Technologies. it can serve as a good starting point for research in this area. Australia CSIRO. USA Becker Mining Systems. USA Kutta Consulting. USA IPackets. licensed to Vital Alert. USA Los Alamos National laboratory. South Africa Institute for Advanced Physics. Canada GeoSteering. USA Innovative Wireless Technologies. The following subsections present a concise overview of the commercially available tracking products available with the manufacturers and vendors. Australia Zone/Proximity based Concerned Authority CSIRO. Australia Transtek. University of Innsbruck . Nevertheless. UK Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based Node based Node based Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based Wireless Communication System Stolar. USA Stolar.2: Underground Mine Tracking Systems Tracking System Location and Monitoring System for Personal Safety (LAMPS) Nexsys Real-time risk management system Emergency two-way communications Wireless location technologies for tracking and data collection Trapped Miner Locating System Electromagnetic Location System for Trapped miners Personal Emergency Device (PED) TRACKER Tagging TeleMag Delta Electromagnetic (DeltaEM) Gradiometer Beacon Tracking System RadCAT Subterranean (SWECS) Digital Radio for Underground Miners (DRUM) Canary 2 TramGuard Proximity Warning System TramGuard Miner Track System BreadCrumb AXON Transceivers Mine Net Tracking System BeckerTag RFID: Multi-read Radio Frequency Identiﬁcation and Tracking Wi-Fi based Real-time Tracking Mine-NET Mine Rescue System IPMine MineAX Tracking and Tagging Smart Tag Resource Tracking System Ekahau. USA Varis. Germany Falcon. USA Zone/Proximity based Zone/Proximity based CSIR.
A control and monitoring system on the surface gathers the communication trafﬁc from different paths and displays the location information. Australia. the personal transponders fail to maintain communication with the network. two alarm conditions can be ﬂagged. In case. The underground staff can be alerted when they are beyond the network coverage as well as when the surface control station loses communication contact with the underground staff.2 The Nexsys Real-time risk management system for underground mines CSIRO Australia. It requires a network of wireless beacons distributed throughout the mine. 2.3. 2. the communication would still be possible through other paths. It then integrates and interprets the data in accordance with a pre-determined set of rules and can autonomously initiates a response to breeches of these rules.3. in collaboration with the Japan Coal Energy Centre (JCOAL). his location and vital health signs to the wireless beacon.3 The Emergency two-way communications for underground miners Again CSIRO Australia but this time with the support from the Australian Coal Association Research Program has developed a two-way TTE communication  system. it serves to communicate escape route information for indication by the individual beacons. has also developed the Nexsys Real-time Risk Management System for underground mines .2. Hence. Nexsys can gather information directly from existing proprietary systems. with the disruption of a path. Using this 28 . The system is comprised of: • The Nexsys software package • Electronic report-capturing system • Suite of Ethernet-based. The key idea of this system is to distribute the trafﬁc along a key number of redundant paths . The personal transponders have a receiver.1 The Location and Monitoring System for Personal Safety (LAMPS) This system was proposed by CSIRO. ﬁber optic and communications devices. In case of emergency.3. The system consists of equipping miners cap-lamp with a transponder that transmits the miners ID. Information and real-time risk proﬁles are continuously displayed on handheld wireless units such as pocket PDAs.
3. 2. Inbuilt LEDs and a buzzer inform that a miner has been detected by the searching unit. miners will be able to ask for information. It is able to measure amplitude and direction of the magnetic ﬁeld with three orthogonal receiving antennas. 2.4 Wireless location technologies for tracking and data collection This is yet another type of tracking system that has been developed by CSIRO Australia. it is suitable for locating objects in challenging radio environments such as mines . centralized blast initiation as well provide 29 . Though this technology is not speciﬁcally targeted for mining environments. 2.6 The Electromagnetic Location System for Trapped miners The Institute for Advanced Physics. Field tests at the Schewaz/Tirol mine demonstrated a detection accuracy of 50 cm. It consists of a uniquely coded miners tag that can be worn with the belt and a portable search unit . Australia. It consisted of a transmitter (beacon) contained in the miners cap lamp and a hand-held location receiver that could search for the trapped miners location by tracking the transmitter. University of Innsbruck .7 The Personal Emergency Device (PED) PED has been developed by Mine Site Technologies.5 The Trapped Miner Locating System CSIR. The research showed that the location of a trapped miner is possible with magnetic signals in the VLF-ELF region. 2.3. report their conditions and location and guide rescuers in emergencies. South Africa has developed this application. it has been designed for general communication purposes. it can serve the purpose of tracking.technology. control. It is an ultra low frequency TTE communication system used for paging. The testing prototype was able to detect and locate trapped miners at the distance of 30m through solid and fragmented rocks. using radio frequency tracking. The transmitter emits an ELF ﬁeld of which amplitude and direction is measured in at least 3 points with a receiver. The theoretical basis and limits for the parameter frequency and distance depending on the medium parameters have been proposed in .3. Even though.3. The push button on the belt enables the miner to communicate with the searching team. Austria has developed an tracking application for trapped miners .
3. two-way voice communication between the surface and underground . USA. USA has developed this system. 2. The system consists of 3 main components: • RFID tags : Transmit unique ID. It is an underground tracking system that tracks active Tags. 2.10 The Delta Electromagnetic (DeltaEM) Gradiometer Beacon Tracking System Stolar. The system has the ability to send text messages to warn or inform speciﬁc situations. It employs a single sideband modulated carrier technique and a digital signal processor based tracking comb ﬁlter for attenuating harmonicinduced noise.3. It is a TTE. The receiver is portable and is used on the surface of the mine to locate the beacon transmitter. A global positioning system (GPS) receiver and a radio 30 . • The Readers/Beacons : Wireless access points that receive the Tag IDs transmitted by the Wi-Fi signal and then transmit this data to the monitoring systems through the mine Ethernet or other type of digital network. which improves the signal-to-noise ratio thus improving the range of the system. It is not portable.9 The TeleMag It has been developed by Transtek.service in case of emergency . 2. It uses either a surface or underground antennae loop which radiates a radio frequency signal enabling one way communication to the miners. • The TRACKER software : Records all the Tag logins and known locations in real time. real time.3.8 The TRACKER Tagging Mine Site Technologies. It is a system consisting of beacon transmitter and a wave gradiometer (receiver) . ComCell and ResQCom are two other system designed to complement the functionality of TeleMag. ResQCom is a portable system designed for mine rescue and other emergency situations. Australia has developed this product. These tags are carried by the personnel or attached to the moving vehicles and other equipments . It can track the people/machinery with the help of tags worn by miners or attached to moving machinery.
• Delta Tracker for locating trapped miners from the surface. mine rescue team and between the surface monitoring center and underground personnel .3.3. trapped and barricaded miners. The gradiometer sensor data are time and position stamped with information from the GPS. • Multi mode cap lamp transceiver for voice and text messaging.12 The Subterranean Wireless Communication System (SWECS) SWECS is being developed for the US Army Communications and Electronics Research.11 The RadCAT This is another system that has been developed by Stolar. USA. It also provides tracking capabilities for moving. • Personal data assistant. The system consists of: • Tracking beacon. • F1/F1 repeater network • Surface network computer. 2.frequency (RF) modem are integrated into the gradiometer. The RF modem allows wireless communication with the gradiometer receiver. The portable system consists of: • Digital Radio • PDA type of display • Small and portable antenna 31 . 2. • Directional fox hunter antenna.. The system provides a twoway voice and text messaging communication among moving miners. Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC).
2.14 The Canary 2 The product was developed out of the Los Alamos National laboratory and licensed to Vital Alert. It has designed a new underground radio that overcomes the barrier of RF signal penetration through thick surfaces .It can provide two-way voice. 2. USA. It functions by establishing a magnetic marker ﬁeld around continuous mining machines which are detected by personal alarm devices (PAD) worn by mining personnel.3. 2. A display mounted on the continuous mining machine visually warns the miners to keep them outside the turning radius. It is a two-way.15 The TramGuard Proximity Warning System It has been developed by GeoSteering. It is a tracking system that uses the existing ﬁeld generators and personal alarm devices (PAD) that were developed for use with 32 . The system can also be conﬁgured such that in an emergency such as a roof fall where multiple nodes fail. real-time prototype communication system that uses very low frequency. The system is an emergency backup communication system in large mines and primary communication system in medium and small mines . Canada. It uses Software Deﬁned Radio.16 The TramGuard Miner Track System This is another system developed by GeoSteering. 2. The system uses the existing metallic mine infrastructure to propagate the radio signals. receive and forward digital data using medium frequency wireless antennae. USA.3. the node to node communication can be via a lower earth penetrating frequency that can hop over disabled nodes to establish the link connectivity.3. USA. The nodes will establish an ad-hoc mesh network and the portable units can communicate with these stationary nodes as well as between peer and peer. It is a proximity-based tracking system .13 The Digital Radio for Underground Miners (DRUM) The system is under funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and has been developed by Kutta Consulting. text and image transfer through a stationary multi-node network as well as TTE. The PAD system warns with an audible sound.3. It consists of a collection of portable radios and ﬁxed repeaters that collaborate to transmit.
It is deployed as an ad-hoc mesh network. It has been used to establish communication in areas that have experienced natural disasters.3.3. police. The system consists of portable nodes that use the 802. cable modem etc. The miners wear a tag that is read by the reader. 2. USA has developed this product. The tag has a button that is used to send coded messages in emergency situations. The XLE includes an MPEG video encoder which can be used to provide a video stream to the network.15. Each miners PAD communicates via UHF to ﬁeld generators located at various points around the mine which then transmit the unique ID numbers of each PAD that the system is in contact using VLF signals to surface mounted receivers. The basic unit is the SE model that provides two radios and an Ethernet port. The XL is a long range model cable of 11 MBps communication at 6 miles LOS and even greater distances at lower-speed of communication. the location of the PAD can be determined. WE and ME are two smaller units that provide at least one radio and an Ethernet port.18 The AXON Transceivers Innovative Wireless Technologies. 33 . 2. The infrastructure consists of a set of ﬁxed nodes that will be stationary throughout the mine.1b Wi-Fi networking standard at 2.3. It is a transceiver module designed to work with the IEEE 802. DSL. By knowing the ﬁeld generator that the PAD is in contact with. 2. The nodes can be deployed as a standalone network inside the mine or can be connected to other networks on the surface with communication links outside the mine such as satellite modem.17 The BreadCrumb The system is currently used by the military. The mining personnel carry hand-held units to facilitate the tracking process. SWAT ﬁre ﬁghters and other ﬁrst responder agencies in USA and has been developed by Rajant. USA.19 The Mine Net Tracking System This system has been developed by AMR. The system is composed of readers with three antennas that are placed throughout the mine to deﬁne zones and sub zones . WE is portable.4 speciﬁcations .Geosteerings TramGuard proximity system .4GHz .
20 The BeckerTag The system consists of Active Tags that transmit their unique identiﬁcation codes every second . Germany.2. The readers then automatically identify the object and pass the information to the surface control centre via the telemetry link. 2.22 The Wi-Fi based Real-time Tracking Ekahau’s(USA) real-time automated system continually monitors the location of assets or personnel on a campus area and informs the authorized users via the corporate network . 2.23 The Mine-NET Based on the RFID tag technology . 2. USA is packaged in a lightweight battery powered backpack that can be initiated by underground personnel in less than a minute .3.21 The RFID: Multi-read Radio Frequency Identiﬁcation and Tracking Developed by Davis Derby. In the event on an accident. personnel. Mine-NET consists of a system integrated with the underground WLAN network infrastructure where an RFID reader is integrated into a WLAN access point location.3. It has been developed by Becker Mining Systems. The system can distinguish between various Tags such as vehicles.3. Each person entering the mine is equipped with tags conﬁgured with a unique ID number. an alarm can be activated in the respective danger zone and the directional signals can be illuminated. UK. Locally connected Tag Readers via a RS485 bus interpret the code and update a centralized database over Fiber Optic. It then broadcasts a 34 . server software and end-user application software.3.11a/b/g/n) standard access points as the reference devices for tag location and as the data network. It has been developed by Embigence.24 The Mine Rescue System This system developed by Falcon. Germany. It consists of tags. reference devices. data network. RF transmissions or WiFi. assets or control tags. 2.3. It uses Wi-Fi (802. the system consists of RFID readers and antennae are strategically installed throughout the mine .
the tag readers can be located anywhere within the leaky feeder radio system coverage area thus providing customized coverage for each unique installation.3. It has been developed by Tunnel Radio. networked RFID readers and a PC/Server running Smart Tag software . 2. Ethernet and hardwire . Though the 35 . When miners enter a new zone. USA. Permanent sensor installations can monitor 7x24 underground mine beacons for immediate response and rescue. 2. The ﬂashing of a miners headlamp or LEDs on the device is controlled and set at different speeds to indicate normal. As discussed in the chapter.25 The IPMine Developed by IPackets Canada. It was developed by Varis. 2. radio communication inside the mines is impaired by various unfavourable environmental conditions. In wireless mode. 2-way wireless communications and tracking solution that uses 802. The current/under-development tracking devices are based on the radio technology. 2. IPMine is a a real-time.signal that can be identiﬁed by surface sensory units.27 The Smart Tag Resource Tracking System Consisting of active RFID tags. ﬁber optics or Leaky Feeder. Canada.26 The MineAX Tracking and Tagging This supports multiple modes of data transport including wireless readers via leaky feeder. or emergency messages. the information from their mobile device is intercepted by Zone Access Points (ZAPs) and relayed back to the control centre. It can be used either for vertical rescue (Surface to Mine Rescue) or horizontal rescue (Mine to Mine Rescue).4 Summary This chapter has given an orientation regarding the working environment and conditions present inside the mine. Both ﬁeld transportable and permanent installations of the system can be implemented. Besides that.3. it has examined the current state-of-the-art tracking systems that have been developed for underground mines. this system allows readers to connect to an Ethernet network using twisted-pair.11 interface between wireless clients and base stations . priority.3.
yet the efﬁciency of these systems cannot be commented unless tested in a real-world mine. As a result. combining the radio technology with other type of sensor devices would prove to be beneﬁcial in overcoming the current limitations. 36 .tracking devices under development are focussing on different types of radio technology.
2 Proposed Solution We propose an Ultrasound based Wireless Sensor Network(WSN) system with Chirp based spread sprectrum technique for designing a location sensing system for underground mines. 3. A logical breakdown of the problem has been presented for better understanding.Chapter 3 Methodology 3. The various approaches have been stated and have been supported with a vivid justiﬁcation for the respective plan of action. The later part of the chapter discusses the proposed system architecture in terms of system platform (hardware/software). localization and signal processing algorithms.1 Introduction This chapter will outline the methodology proposed to address the problem stated in this thesis. protocols. There are a number of open questions that need to be considered in order to achieve this 37 . network topology.
when and where should the information be retrieved? • How should the information be stored/exchanged? • How can we know the health of the system at any point of time and especially after the occurance of a mine accident? • How can the system be repaired for erroneous behaviour? Is human intervention required or can it be done efﬁciently from a remote control station? • How should the data received from the system consisting of distributed sensors be converted into meaning information for best possible decisions under a given circumstance? • Is it a sensible solution? 3. in what form. Besides that. Using WSNs. ﬁres and explosions.goal.3 Approach and Justiﬁcation A portable wireless system would be the best option in mines because they offer the best resistance to damage from roofs falls. the system can be carried by miners and they do not require pre-existing infrastructure in terms of pre-installed antennas. The following are some of the prime questions that have been answered in the following sections: • What are the different types of sensors required to build this system ? • Are the proposed sensors avaliable in a form that can be used directly or does it require custom tailoring and modiﬁcation for the scope of the problem? • How can these sensors be powered for a long period of time without replacement? • Are the sensors strong enough to withstand the damage that would be caused by mine accidents? • What protective measures would be applied in order to protect these sensors from permanent damage or faulty operations in case of accidents inside the mines or in normal routine operations? • What are the types of information required from the system for performing its designated task? • How. the objects can estimate their location by co-operating with nearby objects 38 .
The ultrasound waves cannot travel through walls (in our case mine walls) and hence all the reﬂected waves would be contained in the same place. 39 . though with reduced accuracy. The radio/light signals travel at very high speeds as a result of which even a small timing error or lag would result in astronomically large ranging errors. The propagation of the sound waves from the transmitter to the receiver is the key to the ultrasound distance estimation. it can be enhanced to monitor gas and dust concentration inside the mines and stability of underground structures with the addition of a few extra sensors. it can be useful in simultaneous independent measurements at different places in the application space which may be useful for better estimation purposes. these measurement error are under acceptable limits for the slow traveling acoustic signal. The motivation for using ultrasonic sensors is due to their unique propagational characteristics. Although distance measurements for ultrasonic systems is based on the line-of-sight measurements. While. The range of audible frequencies for human hearing is from 20Hz to 20Khz. a millisecond error for ultrasound signals would get converted into an error of 30cm or more. on the otherhand. Effective ﬁltering mechanism have to be adopted to eminently retrieve the direct line-of-sight signal amidst the whole array of direct and indirect reﬂected waves. Therefore. As a result of this. In addition. With a moderate upgradation of the processor used in the sensor nodes. the extra lag in ultrasonic signal propagation gives more time for position calculations which can substantially improve the system precision and accuracy in terms of more processing time or considerable time to recover from disoriented system state. The bliss of relatively slow speed of acoustic signals with respect to radio waves turns out to be a boon for location estimation purposes. yet it can be useful for estimation in places that may be around an acute turn or corner of the room (in our case the non-uniform structure inside the mine containing crosscuts. this would be seriously effected in underground mining environment where the high humidity and temperature along with moderate dielectric effect of the medium would result in decreased propagational velocity of the sound waves. The speed of the ultrasound signals in air at room temperature is about 340m/s. However. escape-ways. fast and efﬁcient object tracking can be performed. Nevertheless. any frequency above 20Khz would be considered to be in the ultrasound inaudible domain. blockages) due to the diffraction property of the sound waves. Additionally. Even though. yet it can be controlled by designing effective algorithms as compared to radio signal where a mere microsecond error would translate to an error of 300m. the electronic complexity of the ultrasound based systems are relatively low where the need for high-end clocks and synchronization circuits can be substituted with moderate precision clocks leading to an appreciable decrease in the manufacturing cost of such devices.by sharing the sensor data in order to minimize the overall location error.
Besides this. However. the only pulses that reach the receiver are the result of the phenomenon of reﬂection. if the ﬁrst peak of the signal proﬁle can be erroneously taken to be the direct path signal and distance calculation performed using this value would result in incorrect distance estimation. this excitement soon sublimes down when  mentions that the upperbound is restricted by the absorption of ultrasound in air and the rate of absorption increases sharply with the frequency increase. This leads to an addition 6dB decrease in the SPL of the ultrasound signal with the doubling of the distance from the source. Thus broadband and correlation based systems are effective than narrowband systems as they are productive in separating the reﬂected signals from the direct path signal. In such a scenario. Hence. As a result. Direct pulses emitted by the transmitter reach the receiver ﬁrst as compared to reﬂected pulses that take a longer time to travel the transmitter-receiver path. Guided by this application scenario. all waves irrespective of their frequencies suffer signal attenuation in accordance to the inverse square law where the path loss increases as the square of the distance traveled by the wave. mining appliances etc. power lines. Broadband and correlation (that use pulse waveform) based ultrasonic systems prove to be better than narrowband (that use continuous waveform) systems in dealing with reﬂected signals. However. In such a case. The prime challenge for developing a location sensing system for underground mines is that the communication signal should be able to sustain their signal characteristics under the extremely hostile mining environment. In case of mines. Despite all of the facts. the solution would 40 .It may be exciting at the ﬁrst glance that there is a very broad range of frequencies to apply in the system as there is no upper bound on the frequency range. the signal processing algorithm should be intelligent to reject such erroneous data resulting from the reﬂected signals. an inherent problem with ultrasonic sensing systems is that the performance is severely affected by ultrasonic noise in the form of interference and reﬂection of the signals. such noise would be produced by electric motors. Distance measurements that are done using reﬂected signals would be longer than those using direct path signals and hence special effort in the form of intelligent ﬁltering and correlating algorithms have to be designed. the ﬁrst signal (or peak) that is available after the correlation operation is the direct path signal while the remaining peaks in the proﬁle are a result of the refection of the signal and hence can be ignored. there can occasionally be situations when the direct path signals is blocked. Hence ultrasound transducers commonly operate in the frequency range of 40-75kHz wherein distance of upto 10m between the transmitter(source) and the receiver(destination) can be measured with better conﬁdence intervals. The Sound Pressure Level (SPL) of a 170Khz ultrasonic signal suffers attenuation at the rate of upto 10dB/m in air while the a 40Khz US signal is able to withstand the signal attenuation rate to around 1dB/m.
In order to achieve this cross functionality. Implementing the solution at the physical layer would require the solution to be changed for different communication technologies. This would not only provide the ﬂexibility of better signal control and modulation but also empowering the system with better signal processing algorithms for effective noise ﬁltering. As the chirp based approach uses the entire bandwidth to send the signal. the system platform would be build it using light weight TCP/IP stack. The level of interoperability would be customized to such an extent that the proposed system should be able to swap over multiple link layer 41 . Broadband US transducers and chirp based spread spectrum signaling techniques would be used to overcome the limitations of the currently available acoustic based sensing systems. the current Internet technology is highly ﬂexible in adopting and running over diversiﬁed link layer technologies.be implemented at the physical and link layers of the protocol stack. This transmission techniques makes the transmission resistant to multi-path fading even when functioning at low power levels. upon further customization and serious development. Besides other advantages. other spread spectrum techniques that make use of the pseudo random numbers in the transmitted signal to distinguish it from channel noise. Spread spectrum communication technique is a method in which the signal generated at a particular bandwidth is spread in the frequency domain resulting in a signal of higher bandwidth. Chirp based spread spectrum technique would be employed to encode the identity information of the transmitter (in our case. Therefore. Additionally. ﬁne tuning and standardization of the system from the lowest protocol stack level and then building on better and effective solutions on every level of the protocol stack would result in an improved location sensing system. Though the Internet was initially designed and developed for low speed networks. hence it is extremely robust to noise in the channel. A chirp is a sinusoidal signal whose frequency increases or decreases over a certain period of time. hence the proposed location sensing system should have the ability to integrate itself with the conceived futuristic solutions. the major advantages it would offer to a undermine based location sensing system are better noise immunity. it can be made to operate over the Internet. the moving miner). As the latest tracking systems that are being developed for the mining industry as based on digital data networks. selective addressing capabilities and multiple access communication. The basic methodology of this technique is to use wideband frequency modulated chirp pulses in conjunction with the carrier signal during the pulse interval. Unlike. it makes use of the nature of the chirp pulse for signal and noise differentiation purposes. The proposed system would not only be functional as separate entity but would also be able to seamlessly integrate with the existing wired or wireless communication infrastructure present in the mines.
4 Proposed system overview and architecture The following section discusses the general system requirements for the prototype location sensing system followed by the system functionality and architecture. Investigate the underground mining conditions with respect to communication inside the mine. An adaptive communication stack known as Rime which is presently the part of the Contiki operating system designed for memory constrained networked embedded systems to achieve this functionality. 4. if it comes in contact with any other high power radio such as the Wi-Fi/Wireless mesh access points. Design the architecture for the location sensing system that would include the hardware and software architecture.4. the sensor mote should be autonomously capable of communication with other motes using its own low power radio. 3. 7. The approach proposed to address the problem will be divided into the following parts: 1. 2. then the sensor mote should be able to communicate with these high-end radios through soft handoffs by changing its end-points without any data loss. However. 6. in the process of movement. 5.technologies. Investigate the distance estimation accuracy of the proposed system in a simulation study. For example. Develop an signal processing algorithm to perform chirp processing to achieve bestpossible distance estimation. 3.1 General Requirements The general requirements for the Location Sensing system for underground mines is as follows: 42 . Develop a tracking algorithm to continuously track the position of the mobile sensor motes that would be worn by the person. 3. Investigate the tracking accuracy of the proposed system both in simulation and experimental study. Investigate the distance estimation accuracy of the proposed system in a testbed experimental study in real-world underground mine.
The ranging distance between the transmitter and the receiver sensor nodes should be atleast 10m. 6. On the contrary. 3. 4. local buffering and data redundancy techniques would be applied. A good signal reconstruction is one of the prime requirements as it has to be correlated with a previously stored signal for transmitter indentiﬁcation. The system should provide different levels of information details such as ﬁne grained location. The system should be able to track the position of atmost 4 persons at a time. The system should be able to perform continuous tracking. In order to circumvent these problems. 3. It should delay tolerant to compensate for failed nodes or slow communication among nodes. As a result. The nodes should be able to survive the hostile underground mine environment. 2. The ADC sampling rate should be between 80KHz and 96KHz and resolution should not be less than 16 bits. the high resolution signal sampling would facilitate in better signal reproduction at the receiver end. Timing accuracy : To facilitate in the accuracy of location sensing and continuous tracking of the proposed system. information about its previous location when the device moved and out of range information when the devices are far apart such that they cannot communicate.2 Wireless sensor network design challenges As the proposed wireless sensor network is being designed for the harsh mining environment. 5. High-resolution signal sampling and collection : As the system would be operated in a highly noisy enviornment. there are a number of design challenges that need to be considered.1. The loss in data transmission should be less than 1% of the total data transmitted.4. it would reduce the chances of false positive for identiﬁcation purpose. the various sensor nodes has to be correctly syncronized with respect to a common clock. coarse grained location. Reliability under harsh operating conditions : The system should be able to provide reliable data collection and interpretation under the mining conditions that are not conducive for communication systems. 7. 43 . data fusion methods that are independent of time synchronization requirements have to be employed.
44 .4.3 System Functionality The proposed sensor motes would have the ﬂexibility to be conﬁgured as transmitters or receivers. This challenge would be addressed by encompassing the node inside a protective casing that is ﬁre and dust resistant. The identity information would be encoded in the chirp. Hence. the sensor nodes have to be protected against damage.4. 3. 3. Providing an outlet for the transducers would reduce the sensor lifespan as it would be subjected to dust inside the mine and result in its malfunctioning. each has its own functional role. Our choice is based on the fact that the high frequency US sensors would be able to penetrate the low density material and perform regular operation along with guranteed protection. there should be an opening for the US transducers. However.Node protection : As the objective of the system is to provide graceful service under normal as well as extreme conditions inside the mine. Broadband US transducers and chirp based spread spectrum signaling techniques would be used for better signal transmission and reception by the transmitters and receivers respectively. An spread spectrum signal processing technique would be applied at the matching ﬁlter with standard correlation methods to identify the receiver and extract the information from the signal. Long lasting battery power : The setup of the entire system would require effort in the placement of the sensor nodes on mine walls. The battery for powering these sensor motes should be such that they do not require replacement before a year. We propose to use a low density material (such as wooden streaks) to cover these outlets.4 System Architecture The system architecture has been divided into 3 tiers. Though both RF and US are being used. This broadband US signal would be received by the US receiver that would correlate this signal with an existing one stored with it. each unique chirp generated by the transmitters would be correctly identiﬁed at the receiving end. The US would be used for distance estimation purposes while all other communication would be carried out through the radio. The broadband ultrasonic transducers on the transmitter would emit a chirp using spread spectrum methodology. Dessicants (silica gel) would be put inside the protective casing to prevent the sensor node from succumbing to the high humidity inside the mines. It would use the time difference of arrival (TDOA) between the RF and the US signals for distance estimation. in the presence of multiple transmitters. as our system would be equipped with ultrasound sensors.
1 shows a scenario where 3 static sensor nodes have been attached to the walls of the mine. Tier 3: Overall system operation. Figure 3. This new class of sensor board would aim to improve the architecture of the existing Cricket motes as well as encompass better functionality than any other motes till date. Tier 2: Individual level stage operation. Broadband ultrasonic transducers with 45 . the mobile node would perform a trilateration to estimate its location.1 Hardware Platform The hardware platform to be used for this work would be based on a new sensor mote that would be designed and developed.1 depicts tier 1 of the design where the wireless sensor network consisting of sensor motes would collaborate with each other to estimate the respective locations of the moving miners in a mine tunnel.3. Tier 1: Individual tunnel stage operation. Tier 3 of the design has been described in ﬁgure 3. The Cricket system was chosen because it is the latest in the arsenal of ultrasonic based location systems which was quite popular in the wireless sensor networks community. 3. The mobile nodes that are carried by the miners emits unique chirp signals. We plan to revamp the design of the Cricket Indoor Location System . The static sensor nodes would perform chirp processing and sent back the distance estimate to the respective mobile node being carried by the miner. Figure 3. 3. All the data from the bottom-most level would be routed to the next higher level until it reaches the ﬁnal base/control station on the surface where a sophisticated software would display movement details of the miners on a pre-conﬁgured time basis.5 System Platform 3.4.4. Each miner would carry a sensor mote that would emit an uniquely encoded chirp signal. On receiving 3 such range estimates. All such signals would be received by the static sensor nodes that are in range with the transmitter node. The two different chirp signals are received by the sensor node 2 where further processing and distance estimation is done with intelligent signal processing algorithms. Figure 3. Wireless access points/routers would be installed at the beginning of each tunnel so that all the location informations are transferred back from the sensor nodes to the access points.2 shows the tier 2 of the design. 2.5. The new class of sensor motes would address all of the outlined drawbacks and additionally provide the feature of expandability by providing interfacing units to add additional sensors or sensor interface boards or high-end DSP circuit boards.1.
Ultrasonic receiver : The US receiver would be a broadband receiver. 5. Microcontroller : A 16 bit microcontroller would be used for faster processing capabilities. The transmitter mote that to be worn by the miners would have an interface to charge itself from the battery pack that is carried by the mining personnel. 2. 46 . This band has less interference compared to the 900 MHz band. 3. 4. Ultrasonic transmitter : The US transmitter would be a broadband transmitter and would emit a chirp signal. The hardware implementation would have the following modules: 1. The DSP circuit boards would have a sampling frequency in the range from 80-96Khz. Expansion slot : This would facilitate in enhancing the sensor mote by adding extra sensors to the system.Figure 3. RF transceiver : A CC1000 RF transceiver would be used with an operating frequency of 455 MHz.1: Chirp based ranging technique ultrasound frequency of 40Khz would be used in conjunction with a moderately sophisticated micro-controller and DSP daughter boards.
Figure 3.2: Communication within each level inside the mine 6. USB interface : A USB or compact ﬂash interface would be used to faster data transfer 7. Temperature sensor : The ambient temperature would be measured with the temperature sensor to compensate for the speed of sound variation with change in temperature. A brief requirement study of the proposed system core features and radio physical properties has been given in table 3.1 and 3.2.
The software would consist of the Contiki operating system. It is multi-tasking OS for memory constrained networked embedded systems. It has been designed for micro-controllers with limited amount of memory. A standard Contiki conﬁguration uses 2KB of RAM and 40KB of ROM. It contains 2 communication stacks : 1) µIP 2) Rime. µIP is a light weight TCP/IP stack designed for communication over the Internet. Rime is a light weight communication stack designed for low power radios and would give the ﬂexibility to swap between different MAC layers.
Figure 3.3: Communication within various levels inside the mine
3.4.6 Network Topology and Protocols
The network infrastructure would consist of static nodes and mobile nodes. The static nodes would be placed at known location inside the area of interest and would server as anchor points. The mobile nodes would be worn by the moving person. The mobile nodes would acts as the transmitter and send a chirp pulse to the ﬁxed anchor nodes that would act as the receiver. As we have adopted a correlation based signal processing technique, hence there is a need to store the some chirp pulses in the receiver so that when it receives the signal from the transmitter, it can perform the matching operation. Hence, there would be a limit on the number of transmitter that can be localized/tracked at the same time. Therefore, there is a need to design an effective MAC protocol that can sense this phenomenon and refrain from transmitting when the receiver has reached the maximum limit for concurrent localization of transmitters. This would also contribute in power conservation by the transmitter.
Figure 3.4: Hardware implementation of the sensor mote
3.4.7 On Board Data Processing
The On-board data processing would include chirp processing wherein the receiver has to identify the transmitter by perform a correlation of the received signal with the stored chirp pattern. This would result in a generate a proﬁle of signal peaks.
3.4.8 Localization Algorithm
The localization algorithm would extend existing Monte-Carlo localization algorithm and combine both location information and distance estimation between the transmitter and the receiver for tracking the mobile node.
3.4.9 Auto-Localization of the anchor nodes
It is troublesome to visit each anchor node and assign it coordinates in a large deployment scenario. Hence, there is a need anchor free auto localization algorithms that can automatically measure the inter node distance without human intervention.
This chapter presented the methodology that would be taken to the address the problem statement outlined in the thesis. We have presented a novel idea of using the radio technology in
4 kbps less than 50 msec +/-10 dBm -101 dBm FSK Wire MMCX conn. 40 m 4 50 .Table 3.2: Radio Physical Properties Feature Radio Standard Frequency Band Data Rate Setup Time TX Power Sensitivity Modulation Internal Antenna External Antenna Range Channels Description Chipcon CC1000 ISM 315-916 MHz 38.1: System Core Features Feature Microcontroller Architecture Speed Program Memory Data Memory Conﬁguration Memory Storage Memory ADC Resolution OnBoard Sensors UI Components Description MSP430 16Bit 8 MHz 48 kB 10 kB 4 kB EEPROM 1024 kB SRAM 16Bit 2 3 LEDs 1 Button Table 3.
The related challenges that would arise in the process of designing the wireless sensor network and their respective solutions have also been addressed. The proposed solution would be imlemented on a new prototype sensing system whose system architecture and requirement details has also been discussed. 51 .conjunction with broadband ultrasound sensors and performing chirp processing in order to increase the ranging distance and the accuracy of the location sensing device.
Chapter 4 Research Plan 4. In the midst of the research. Table 4. 52 . with emphasis for the next 12 months of the candidature. one peer-reviewed publication on the signal processing algorithm and at least one peer-reviewed publication on the system implementation and evaluation. we hope to produce at least one peer-reviewed publication on the new sensor mote platform.2 Research program timetable This section sets out the research plan that we would be undertaking. 4.1 shows the research plan.1 Introduction The main objective of this chapter is to give a vivid outline of the research plan and deﬁne a template for the ﬁnal thesis in the form of tentative thesis chapter outline.
Investigate the tracking accuracy of the proposed system both in simulation and experimental study. Investigate the distance estimation accuracy of the proposed system in a simulation study.3 Tentative Thesis Chapter Outline An attempt to deﬁne the ﬁnal thesis template in the form of tentative thesis chapter outline has been presented in this section. 4. Auto-Localization of the anchor nodes. • Chapter 1 : Introduction • Chapter 2 : Underground Mines : An Insight • Chapter 3 : Location Management in Wireless Communication Systems • Chapter 4 : Ultrasonic Tracking Systems • Chapter 5 : Simulation Testbed for Chirp Processing • Chapter 6 : A Prototype Location Sensing System • Chapter 7 : Location Sensing in Real-time Real-world underground mines • Chapter 8 : High Performance Tracking in Real-time Real-world underground mines 53 .1: Research program timetable Work Design the architecture for the location sensing system that would include the hardware and software architecture Develop a signal processing algorithm to perform chirp processing to achieve best-possible distance estimation. October 2010 December 2010 March 2011 Mid 2011 Develop a tracking algorithm to continuously track the position of the mobile sensor motes. built and conﬁgure the sensor board.Timeline September 2009 September 2009 December 2009 March 2010 May 2010 Table 4. Develop. Write up dissertation. Investigate the distance estimation accuracy of the proposed system in a testbed experimental study in real-world underground mine.
4 Summary The chapter discusses the research plan and deﬁnes a template for the ﬁnal thesis in the form of tentative thesis chapter outline.• Chapter 9 : An Improved Algorithm for Auto-Localization of Anchor Nodes in a WSN • Chapter 10 : Lessons Learnt from the Development and Deployment of the Prototype Locations Sensing System • Chapter 11 : Conclusion and Future Work 4. 54 .
we had being involved in understanding the limitations of the Cricket indoor localization system. hence it would provide valuable insight about the practical challenges and limitations faced by 55 . As the proposed system would also be based on ultrasound sensing. 5.Chapter 5 Preliminary Work 5.2 Concurrent Work Apart from doing a thorough literature review of the underground mining conditions and studying the technical details of the location sensing system (both underground and surface based indoor/outdoor ).1 Introduction The main aim of this chapter is to present the preliminary work that has been carried out with respect to the designing of the prototype location sensing system. It was chosen as a starting point as it is the latest of the ultrasound based localization systems and is quite popular in the wireless sensor networks community with respect to indoor tracking.
The fact that the ultrasound transmission from the transducers are highly directional has been highlighted in a number of instance in the literature. 56 . Besides that. We will highlight the relevant aspects of the work in this section.1 Improving the accuracy and distance ranging of ultrasound-based Cricket localization systems On scrutinizing the Cricket system’s design and methodology. It uses a threshold based approach to detect the arrival of the ultrasonic signal. 3.these sensors. However. it would result in omni-directionality. A thorough analysis was conducted inorder to take a decision regarding the change of either the transmitter or the receiver circuitry. the bottleneck of the system is the graceful ability of the US receivers to effectively detect an US signal that can arrive after multiple reﬂections. 5. Apart from serving as a good road map. if the US receivers are not positioned at the required places. We hope to eventually integrate the results into the thesis. it would be used a initial platform for testing out the proposed enhancements with the respect to the robustness of the signal processing algorithms. The gain used in the receiver circuitry has been ﬁxed at 127 and does not make use of the gain tuning circuitry.2. The ultrasound transmission is highly directional. At a ﬁrst glance of the system. 2. hence a better alternative would be to transform the receiver setup in order to achieve omni-directionality. This fact has also been highlighted by . then the transmitters would be sending signals which would not be useful at the expense of the extra power being consumed for achieving this task. In order to circumvent this limitations. we were lured to go for a change in the transmitter which was driven by our understanding that if the US signals were spread equally in all direction from the emitting source. This drawback would result in the loss of robustness of the proposed system which is being designed with respect to the underground mining conditions. we have two ways of improving the directionality and making the transducers omni-directional which include altering the transmitter or the receiver setup. The listener assumes the arrival of a US signal when the output of the US ampliﬁers goes beyond 65 mV. Since. the reﬂections from the surfaces would result in signal scattering and the proper placement of the receivers would not also help in such scenarios. the following drawbacks were noted: 1.
An experimental module was coded for the transmitter cricket mote to send only Ultrasound pulses at a rate of 10 pulses/second. For example. it can also add to the error in distance estimation.e. 5. a range of 10. but a stronger response looking straight up. The experimental was conducted with two different setups: 57 .With this idea in mind. We were more interested in improving the range rather than distance error. The gain of the receiver circuitry was ﬁxed at 127 in the original cricket conﬁguration which can scale up to a maximum value of 255.55 degrees ) at the half voltage points (-6dB).e horizontal ) to +20 degrees over vertical. The comparative results were not exciting because the modiﬁed setup did not prove to be beneﬁcial in enhancing the distance estimates. An oscilloscope was used for tracing the US pulse reception pattern. The height difference between the transmitter and receiver has an effect on the best transducer angle. i. Given a maximum range R and height difference h.5m and h of 3m gives an elevation of 17 degrees ( 73 degrees from vertical).55 degrees. However. it was overlooked.e from about 90 degrees (i.e the current transducer array should have a roughly constant response in azimuth. Ranging experiments were performed with and without the modiﬁed setup of the cricket motes. As the temperature correction would not be beneﬁcial for improving the maximal physical range. The data sheet the US transducers claims the beam is typically about 110 degrees wide (+/. As a result of this. close enough to 55 degrees. we altered the receiver setup and devised an array of 3 US transducers with a dodecahedron arrangement (Fig. i. the cricket mote was being set to half its maximum range. looking straight up) when the array is on a horizontal surface.1) that was plugged in the place of the existing receiver. which means that in a vertical plane the response of one transducer between the -6dB points is 35 +/. so adjacent transducers would add their patterns to give a roughly constant response in the plane joining them. As the cricket mote have a temperature sensor. An important design decision was the angle at which the 3 transducers must be aligned with each other so as to give the maximum signal reception. the receiver transducer elevation angle for maximum response (ignoring reﬂections etc.) at the maximum range is arcsine ( h / R ). The current transducers are about 35 degree away from vertical ( i. an experiment was performed to check the performance of the receiver transducers with respect to the strength of the reception of the Ultrasound pulse by the receiver circuitry. but this would not necessarily be optimal for shorter horizontal ranges. To overcome this drawback. the gain was set to the maximum value of 255 to enhance the cricket’s ranging ability. In order to study this behavior of the modiﬁed setup that included the array of 3 US transducers. The dodecahedron arrangement of the transducers was decided because the faces make an angle of about 63 degrees to each other. the temperature correction is only a numerical scale factor in the computed range.
Original single transducer on the receiver.Figure 5. Array of 3 transducers on the receiver. The receiver transducer showed the maximum reception strength when it was placed in the Line of Sight of the transmitter mote. 58 . 2.1: Modiﬁed Cricket setup with the 3-US transducer array 1. 2. The pulse was detected by the receiver circuit. A variation of receiver strength was recorded as the receiver transducer face was gradually turned away from the Line-of-Sight (LOS) path to the path making a 90 degrees with respect to the LOS thereby ranging from the maximum receive strength to the minimum receive strength. The following were the ﬁndings from the experimental setup 1: 1.
The detected pulse pattern detoriated drastically when the face of the 3 transducer array was moved away from the LOS and became extremely weak as compared to the Setup 1. Even in conditions when the cricket is not able to get a distance estimate. The 3 transducer array was leading to the signal cancellation effect as the distance between the each pair of transducers was relatively greater than the desired. capture the US signals using a broadband US microphone (receiver)and then direct these signals to the laptop using an ADC 59 . it was decided to conduct the chirp processing in a software environment.3. 3. 2. For the initial setup. the receiver is able to capture the signals. 2. The pulse detected by the receiver was quite promising in this setup. Hence. In order to simulate the technique. The following were the ﬁndings from the experimental setup 2: 1. The signal generated by the transmitter is a Sine wave. The pulse detected by the array of 3 transducers was not very satisfactory as the reception strength in the LOS path was weaker as compared to the Experimental Setup 1.2. it was decided to generate the chirp from the US transducers of the cricket. 4. The 3 transducer array could not be rebuilt as there was no scope for bringing the transducers nearer than the present setup.2 Chirp generation using the US sensors A modiﬁcation to the methodology was made to apply the chirp based spread spectrum technique rather than the narrowband US sine pulse. The experiment suggested that the present hardware modiﬁcation done would not be able to give any satisfactory improvement in terms of range unless the cricket functionality is changed with respect to the transmitter and receiver circuitry. the cricket is not utilizing the functionality of the gain control circuit that should ideally be intelligent enough to adjust the gain(increase/decrease) depending on whether the signal received by the receiver is weak enough to be detected. 5. But as it is below the speciﬁed threshold. The following were the inferences from the experiment: 1. Instead of using the narrowband transducers. the cricket rejects the signals. it was suggested to investigate the applicability of broadband transducers and chirp based spread spectrum technique.
In the case of the cricket motes. This triggers an Output Compare Interrupt.converter. The following section describes the ﬁrst part of the implementation which includes generating the chirp waveform from the US transducer using ATmega 128 microcontroller.2.3728 Mhz = 7.2.Timer/Counter clock register The OC pin is set to either high or low. The following are the registers associated with the functioning of this module: • TCNT . The remaining work is still under progress. The same process is repeated again. Simultaneously.Timer Interrupt Flag register • TIMSK . Values are set in the TCNT2 and the OCR2 registers at the start of the waveform generation phase. 1 clock cycle of the microcontroller = 1÷(7. the OC pin remain in high/low value for 91 clock cycles and then toggles its state to low/high. The reason for the generation of the sine wave of 40 KHz by setting the value of 0x5B in the OCR2 register has been explained as follows: Clock frequency of the Atmega 128L microcontroller = 7. the value in the OCR2 register is decremented. the value of the OCR2 is reset to the initial value of 0x5B at the next clock cycle. a match is signaled by the comparator.Timer/Counter • OCR2 . With the passing of every clock cycle.Output Compare register • TCCR2 .3728×106 Hz.Timer Interrupt Mask register • OC . Whenever. TCNT2 is set to 0 and OCR2 is set to 0x5B (decimal equivalent = 91).Output Compare register • TIFR . The TCNT2 and the OCR2 are continuously compared by the comparator circuitry. 5.the value of TCNT2 equals OCR2 (which in the case of the cricket happens when OCR2 = 0).1 General waveform generation technique in ATmega 128 microcontroller The module responsible for the generation of the waveform is the 8-bit Timer/Counter2 module of ATmega 128 microcontroller. Hence. Hence.3728 × 106 ) 60 .
685 microseconds. 16 different frequencies can be generated between the required range.3563×10−7 secs is the time required to generate 1 clock cycle 1÷(frequired × 103 ) secs is required to generate (7373÷frequired ) clock cycles Hence.3563×10−7 seconds = 0. only 16 different frequencies are to be selected between 20 Khz and 40 Khz. 182 (91+91) clock cycles of the microcontroller = 1. They generated frequencies along with their decimal and hex values are given in table 5. A dodecahedron arrangement of 3 ultrasonic transducers was engineered for better ranging of the Cricket system.3563×10−7 ×182 = 2.2. Hence. the actual value to be given to the register = 7373÷(frequired ×2) = 3686.OCR2). 5.3 Summary This chapter discussess the preliminary work that has been carried out with respect to the designing of the prototype location sensing system. The procedure for calculating the decimal equivalent values for the selected frequency is as follows: Let the required frequency to be generated = frequired Khz = (frequired × 103 ) Hz Time period of the wave = 1÷(frequired × 103 ) seconds 1. According to the current functionality of the code in the cricket motes. The experiment suggested that the present hardware modiﬁcation done would not be able to give any satisfactory improve61 . This was the reason behind using 0x5D (=91) in the command outp(0x5D.1356 microseconds.5÷frequired 5.1.4685 × 10−5 seconds = 24.2 Procedure for the generation of the chirp signal We are interested in generating a linear chirp which is of the form: freq = fstarting f requency + k : where k = chirp rate/frequency increase.2.43 Hz = 40.= 1.5 Khz. Frequency of the wave generated in 182 clock cycles = 1÷2. A matlab code was written to select the optimum value of k for which 16 different frequencies can be generated between 20 Khz and 40 Khz.3. it allows only 16 cycles of the wave to be generated after which the respective registers are cleared off.4685 × 10−5 = 40510. It was found that for k=1.
1 30.2 39.0 34.9 25.3 35. it was suggested to investigate the applicability of broadband transducers and chirp based spread spectrum technique.8 29.6 36.2 26.5 27.7 33.1: Selected frequencies Frequency 20. Instead of using the narrowband transducers.0 21.Table 5.6 23.3 22.9 38.4 21. 62 .5 Decimal Value 184 173 163 154 146 139 133 127 121 116 112 107 104 100 97 93 B8 AD A3 9A 92 8B 85 7F 79 74 70 6B 68 64 61 5D Hex value ment in terms of range unless the cricket functionality is changed with respect to the transmitter and receiver circuitry. The task of generating a chirp signal from the broadband transducers was implemented.
Additionally. In this thesis research proposal. Wireless underground location systems using UltraWide Band (UWB) and Software Deﬁned Radios (SDR) are other promising research topic in order to counter the challenges posed by radio propagation in mines. Future work would also include enhancing the system to function as a remote control for underground equipments as well as perform the operation of a remote centralized blasting system. Designing and developing autonomous tracking system (e. the proposed underground location sensing system can be upgraded to monitor gas and dust concentration inside the mines and stability of underground structures.Chapter 6 Future Work and Conclusion Communication and tracking systems in underground mines is an area that has not been actively researched as contemporary surface based systems. the motivation and aim of the research has been presented inorder to convince the readers that there is a need for research for an undermine location sensing system which is an important and signiﬁcant problem. Currently available tracking systems only register when the person passes a certain location.g. There are few existing system and there is limited information regarding the actual implementation of such tracking systems. MEMS based Inertial navigation systems) that are capable of real time continuous tracking need to be researched. The speciﬁc objectives 63 .
Last but not the least. we hope to provide effective insight into the problem of location sensing which could lay the foundation for better and improved solutions in the future both with respect to the underground mine as well as deﬁne a guideline for building such systems from the scratch and apply it to the speciﬁc functional environment.of the research and the contribution of my work has been stated. it also puts forwards a tentative thesis chapter outline. From the understanding and the results from the thesis. The research program timetable along with work-effort estimation has been outlined to provide the readers with a plan for the entire duration of the thesis work. A comprehensive literature review has been drafted to place the proposed research topic in its relevant research context and to demonstrate the awareness of signiﬁcant relevant research. The thesis can potentially serve as a beginning in entering the problem space of designing effective location sensing systems for underground mines using the latest technological advances. 64 . The theoretical approaches have been explained to provide a conceptual framework for the thesis. It also explains the proposed methods that have been selected to solve the thesis problem statement.
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