A practical application of photogrammetry to performing rib characterization measurements in an underground coal mine using a DSLR camera
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A practical application of photogrammetry to performing rib characterization measurements in an underground coal mine using a DSLR camera

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  • Alternative Title:
    Int J Min Sci Technol
  • Description:
    Understanding coal mine rib behavior is important for inferring pillar loading conditions as well as ensuring the safety of miners who are regularly exposed to ribs. Due to the variability in the geometry of underground openings and ground behavior, point measurements often fail to capture the true movement of mine workings. Photogrammetry is a potentially fast, cheap, and precise supplemental measurement tool in comparison to extensometers, tape measures, or laser range meters, but its application in underground coal has been limited. The practical use of photogrammetry was tested at the Safety Research Coal Mine, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). A commercially available, digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera was used to perform the photogrammetric surveys for the experiment. Several experiments were performed using different lighting conditions, distances to subject, camera settings, and photograph overlaps, with results summarized as follows: the lighting method was found to be insignificant if the scene was appropriately illuminated. It was found that the distance to the subject has a minimal impact on result accuracy, and that camera settings have a significant impact on the photogrammetric quality of images. An increasing photograph resolution was preferable when measuring plane orientations; otherwise a high point cloud density would likely be excessive. Focal ratio (F-stop) changes affect the depth of field and image quality in situations where multiple angles are necessary to survey cleat orientations. Photograph overlap is very important to proper three-dimensional reconstruction, and at least 60% overlap between photograph pairs is ideal to avoid unnecessary post-processing. The suggestions and guidelines proposed are designed to increase the quality of photogrammetry inputs and outputs as well as minimize processing time, and serve as a starting point for an underground coal photogrammetry study.
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