Summary report of uplink and downlink communications working group 
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Summary report of uplink and downlink communications working group 

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      The attention of this group was focussed on four through-the-earth communication systems that are presently of high interest to the U.S. Bureau of Mines; four systems for providing operational/emergency communications on the working sections of coal mines, indeed up to the very face of the section. The systems are: uplink-data, downlink-voice, sidelink-call alert coded page, sidelink-roof bolt voice page. Each of these systems makes use of the mine overburden as the signal transmission medium, as opposed to the guiding wires, cables, and tunnels treated by the operational communications working group. Each of these systems satisfies one or more of the Bureau's objectives for mine communications systems; namely • reliable links for monitoring the mine environment under both operational and emergency conditions. • reliable links for communicating with miners during emergencies. • special links for increasing the efficiency of day-to-day operations of the mine. Each of these systems has been successfully demonstrated on a limited experimental basis, and prototypes of all these systems are installed and operating in the USBM experimental mine in Bruceton, Pa. Each of these systems must now be optimized regarding its performance, and engineered for practical routine application to the working sections of actual operating coal mines, particularly those of the room and pillar type. This optimization and engineering must take place subject to the principal constraints listed by Howard E. Parkinson in his Workshop paper entitled, "Objectives and Constraints of Through-the-Earth Electromagnetic Communications Systems'' and enumerated below. • Depth of Mine Overburden • Overburden Conductivity • Electromagnetic Noise In and Above Mines • Limited In-Mine Electrical Energy (Stationary or Man Carried) During an Emergency • Intrinsic Safety for In-Mine Equipment • Practical and Rugged Equipment for Use Under Both operational/Emergency conditions • Severe Weight Limitations for Man Carried Equipment • Reasonably Low Costs Especially for Man Carried Equipment Part II of this paper provides a brief description of each system, while Part III summarizes the present status of developments related to these systems and some recommendations for future work needed to advance these systems to the practical application stage.
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