Part Five - Hoist Shaft Mine Communications - Introduction; Survey Of Electromagnetic And Seismic Noise Related To Mine Rescue Communications - Volume I
Description:During the summer of 1973 we were asked to perform a theoretical investigation of the propagation of low frequency (LF) radio waves down deep (10,000 feet) hoistshafts* for the case where the hoist cable ("rope") is the only metal conductor present. Propagation is by means of the TEM coaxial mode of transmission in which the hoist cable serves as the inner conductor and the surrounding rock acts as the outer conductor. Since the rock is a relatively poor electrical conductor the current in the outer conductor of the coaxial line is not confined to a very thin surface layer as in a metal coaxial cable, but spreads radially to a distance that is generally many times the shaft diameter. This feature of the wave propagation requires a more sophisticated theoretical treatment than the approximate skin-depth theory that is adequate for metal coaxial lines. In this Part we treat the hoist shaft wave propagation loss, characteristic impedance, and the field current distributions in the surrounding rock medium. We also show that the large penetration of the wave into the rock outer conductor does not present a difficult problem with regard to coupling the transmitter or receiver to the transmission line with a minimum of insertion loss, but that the large impedance mismatch caused by the capacitance termination between the cage and shaft wall may well be the most significant contribution to overall system loss. Inductive coupling and impedance matching to the hoist rope/shaft transmission line are also treated briefly. Preliminary results indicate that a broad minimum in overall system loss should occur between 100 kHz and 1 MHz, possibly centered around 300 kHz. Further work is needed to better quantify this signal loss behavior, compare it with hoist shaft electromagnetic noise spectral data recently acquired by NBS, and identify the most favorable operating frequencies.
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