Instruments For Monitoring Stability Of Underground Openings; Proceedings: New Technology For Coal Mine Roof Support
Description:For several years, researchers from the Spokane Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have been using geotechnical instruments in underground mines to study ground control problems and develop means of reducing accidents and fatalities caused by ground falls. This paper describes many of the different types of instruments, sensors, and data acquisition equipment that have been used for these studies; briefly explains the advantages and disadvantages of various sensor technologies; provides practical recommendations regarding the use of specific instruments and data acquisition systems; and outlines a general approach to the design and implementation of a successful instrumentation plan. A wide variety of instruments are commercially available for measuring deformation, strain, stress, and/or load. If used correctly, these instruments can provide important quantitative information regarding the mining-induced behavior of the host rock, the performance of ground support systems, and the safety and stability of underground workings. Data collected from these instruments can warn mine staff of impending ground control failures or hazardous working conditions, as well as provide valuable information for the design of ground support systems and the configuration and sequencing of mining excavations. We hope that the practical information presented in this paper will encourage a more widespread use of geotechnical instruments in underground mines and lead to reliable measurements that aid the engineering decisions affecting the safety of miners.
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