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Effect Of Ultralow Frequency Signaling On Blasting Array Current
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  • Description:
    The U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) has developed an electromagnetic (EM) fire warning alarm sys-tem for underground mines. The system generates a magnetic field for through-the-earth signal trans-mission to microreceivers carried by individual miners. EM fields can induce electric currents in metallic conductors; if an EM transmitting antenna and an electric blasting cap array are too close, the field could induce a current in the blasting array and cause an unintentional initiation of the electric detonators. The USBM conducted tests that define the safe and unsafe regions for using electric detonators near the transmitting antenna of the warning alarm system. The minimum safe distance between a transmitting antenna and a blasting array is the distance where the induced electrical current in the blasting array is 50 mA, which is the safe current level specified in Federal mine safety regulations. Tests indicate that at transmitting power levels of 100-and 1,000-W, separation distances of 9 and 21 m, respectively, were required. These distances are small compared with the dimensions of a mine. Thus, the tests indicate that, with proper placement of the transmitting antenna, the warning system can be used safely in the proximity of blasting arrays.

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