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Mining Machine Orientation Control Based on Inertial, Gravitational, and Magnetic Sensors
  • Published Date:
    1/1/1990
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Mining Machine Orientation Control Based on Inertial, Gravitational, and Magnetic Sensors
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  • Description:
    The U.S. Bureau of Mines seeks to increase safety and efficiency in U.S. coal mines. One approach is to develop technology for automation of a continuous mining machine. Realization of an autonomous mining machine requires development of subsystems for machine intelligence, navigation-positioning, and computer control. This report focuses on investigation of one subsystem, an onboard heading system, which would be responsible for determining and controlling machine heading. The onboard heading system investigated is a multisensor system to determine machine heading, pitch, and roll. A directional gyroscope provides heading (yaw), fluxgate sensors provide a compass heading, and gravity-referenced clinometers give machine pitch and roll. The system utilizes a dedicated microcontroller networked to an external system of computers. Tram commands, supplied to the network from external computers, are executed by the onboard system. Sensor feedback is employed for closed-loop control of machine heading by controlling pivots and turns. The report discusses operating limitations and error sources of system sensors and presents test results of closed-loop control of machine heading. Results of tests with a mining machine are used to exhibit various sensor shortcomings and to evaluate control of pivots and turns.

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