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Research On The Transmission Of Electromagnetic Signals Between Mine Workings And The Surface
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  • Description:
    One aspect of a program to improve the chances of survival following coal mine disasters is the development of a communications system which will allow surviving miners to make their circumstances known to rescue teams. At present, it appears that an electromagnetic system may be most practical. The development and design of an effective electromagnetic communications link for signalling between mine workings and the surface requires knowledge of pertinent physical properties of the rocks overlying the mine workings and the characteristics of the ambient noise against which a communications signal must be recognized. Knowledge of the overburden electrical transmission properties is useful not only for determining a practical operating transmitter frequency at a given mine, but also for ensuring the best possible electromagnetic coupling for routine or emergency communication purposes. Field studies of the electrical transmission properties of the overburden of coal mines in Colorado, Illinois, and Pennsylvania generally show that a rela- tively uniform and unimodal electrical conductivity distribution exists provided that the region has not been subject to considerable structural or metamorphic deformation such as that observed in the Gary District of West Virginia. Measurements of ambient surface electromagnetic noise levels at several mines in Colorado, Illinois, and West Virginia were taken and analyzed and are presented in the form of amplitude histogram plots both as a function of frequency and time of day. These amplitude histograms may be used in conjunction with overburden resistivity data in implementing an uplink communications beacon system which will yield a specified signal-to-noise ratio at the surface. Numerous C.W. field transmission tests were made in various coal mining environments with use made of either a buried vertical-axis transmitting loop or a short insulated grounded current line. These transmission tests were made from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz in frequency and at several geographic surface receiving sites. The results of these field measurements show, in general, good agreement with theoretically calculated results. Since the produced surface magnetic field from a buried vertical-axis loop source or the produced surface horizontal electric field from a buried horizontal current line show better agreement with theoretical results, they could be used for beacon location system. One criterion would be in detecting the equatorial and polar null lines of the horizontal electric field component which is normal to the direction of emplacement of a buried transmitting line current source. A second criterion would be in the surface mapping of the maximum in the vertical magnetic field directly over a vertical-axis loop transmitter and the associated null in the vertical magnetic field at a horizontal offset distance which is about 1.4 times the depth of burial of the transmitter. Finally, a third criterion would lie in the surface mapping of the null in the horizontal magnetic field directly over the vertical-axis beacon and the associated maximum in the horizontal magnetic field at an offset distance from the transmitter axis of half the depth of burial of the loop transmitter. In mapping the vertical magnetic field over a buried vertical-axis loop transmitter, the size effect of the transmitter loop must be taken into account when the separation distances between the transmitter and receiving sensor are less than ten times the effective radius of the source loop; increasing the size of the transmitting source relative to the source-receiver separation distance shifts the null in the vertical magnetic field to greater offsets. In mapping either the vertical or horizontal magnetic field over a buried vertical-axis loop transmitter, care should be exercised in ascertaining that measured nulls and maxima are along radials through the axis of the buried source loop. For the main part, coupling exper

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