Performance of manpack electromagnetic location equipment in trapped miner location tests
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Performance of manpack electromagnetic location equipment in trapped miner location tests

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    The use of radio signals for underground communications was considered as early as the mid-1920's [1] - [4] . However, early experiments did not produce promising results with the type of equipment that was available then [5] . With advancements in solid state technology many of the schemes considered impractical in the early days suddenly became practical. The properties of electromagnetic wave behavior in conducting media have been intensively studied by Wait [ 6] and others and can be utilized not only in communication with trapped miners, but also as a means of locating their position. This report deals with the development of portable electromagnetic equipment, powered by the miner's conventional lamp battery, which can be used to alert surface rescue personnel of the trapped miner Is location. The Westinghouse Georesearch Laboratory (WGL) under BUMINES sponsors hip initially approached the trapped miner location problem using seismic techniques. It was learned from this effort that two serious shortcomings of seismic techniques are (1) the extremely weak signals available on the surface from miner generated hammer blows, requiring long processing times at the surface receiver, and (2) the relatively slow procedure of deploying geophone arrays to sense the seismic uplink signals. By contrast, the electromagnetic techniques have proven much more practical from a deployment time standpoint and in most cases have also proven to be more accurate in determining location. Furthermore, these techniques have been successfully tested using a receiver in a heli- copter for reconnaissance purposes. However, before any electromagnetic location technique can become fully operational, the miners themselves must be equipped with emergency transmitters to be carried with them on each work shift. Consequently, much emphasis has been placed on the development of extremely lightweight transmitting equipment. The performance of some of the electromagnetic location equipment developed by Westinghouse will be described in the following sections. 2.0 Basic Concepts Theoretical concepts for locating magnetic dipoles in the earth have been treated by Wait [ 7] and Olsen [ 8] .
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