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ACARP project C18023 CM2010 – Continuous Miner Automation. Dr David C. Reid Dr Mark Dunn RDTG Operator’s Workshops Sept 2010. Project Overview. Project context CM Automation component of the CM2010 initiative Project grand goal

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acarp project c18023 cm2010 continuous miner automation
ACARP project C18023CM2010 – Continuous Miner Automation

Dr David C. Reid

Dr Mark Dunn

RDTG Operator’s Workshops Sept 2010

project overview
Project Overview
  • Project context
    • CM Automation component of the CM2010 initiative
  • Project grand goal
    • A remotely supervised continuous miner for roadway development
  • Project impact
    • Essential and major component of CM2010 goals
    • Immediate health and safety benefits
    • Immediate productivity benefits
  • We are now halfway through 3 year project
enabling technology
Enabling Technology
  • Need to develop navigation system suitable for accurate control of CM
    • Can’t use GPS underground (without a lot of additional infrastructure)
    • Technology needs to be physically robust, reliable, accurate and ideally self-contained (doesn’t rely on external infrastructure)
    • Technology needs to work under all normal CM operating conditions
  • Inertial navigation meets most of the above criteria
    • Already proven in longwall mining automation (but higher performance required for CM automation)
    • Reasonably self contained (but needs odometry/velocity aiding)
    • Has the additional benefit of providing real-time accurate CM pitch/roll/heading information at the CM
    • Need to develop a non-contact odometry solution for this system to be practical
cm navigation solution ins odometry
CM Navigation Solution: INS + Odometry






(AT, CT, VT)




(Heading pitch Roll)


Aiding Source



  • Presently evaluating INS and Odometry Solutions
non contact odometry
Non-Contact Odometry
  • Inertial navigation system requires an external aiding source to achieve required position accuracy
  • An accurate non-contact odometer is key to practical CM navigation system:
    • Needs to be non-contact to be practical
    • Needs to be rugged-isable
    • Needs to be immune/tolerant to dust, moisture, vibration
    • Needs to be very accurate – navigation algorithms are very sensitive to latency (<40mS), accuracy, timing and measurement jitter
    • Multi-sensor solution provides redundancy benefits
non contact odometry technologies
Non-contact Odometry Technologies





3D Scanning





results so far
Results so far
  • A CM navigation system has been developed
  • Non-contact odometry solutions have been developed for velocity aiding using hybrid technologies
    • Ultra low speed Doppler radar
    • Optical flow position sensor (like an optical mouse)
  • A skid steer vehicle The Phoenix has been customised for evaluating the navigation system performance
mobile cm test platform the phoenix
Mobile CM Test Platform: The Phoenix

Non-contact optical flow odometry and very low speed Doppler radar

test platform development phoenix
Test Platform Development: Phoenix
  • Phoenix provided a realistic CM-like platform for VMS-aided navigation testing
    • Installation of RTK GPS equipment on Phoenix for ground-truth reference
    • Installation of RTK surveyed base station at QCAT and radio link to Phoenix
    • Doppler radar and optical position sensor installed
    • Sagem Sigma30 INS installed
    • Custom-developed control and communication systems installed
    • Navigation experiments conducted on both paved and unpaved (rough) tracks
results cm attitude monitoring
Results: CM Attitude Monitoring

Accurate heading/pitch/roll information available on CM

phoenix navigation testing area
Phoenix Navigation Testing Area
  • Test tracks – monorail/paved road and rough unpaved track
next stages
Next Stages
  • Further enhancement to the navigation solutions
  • Additional evaluation with lower performance inertial system
  • Further control system development
  • Development of Mine-To-Plan software tool
  • Field trials
    • Quarry
    • Underground
  • A practical CM navigation systems has been developed and demonstrated under limited operating conditions
  • New non-contact odometry technologies have been demonstrated
  • Further development and testing required under more realistic operating conditions
thank you
Thank you

Contact Us

Phone: 1300 363 400 or +61 3 9545 2176

Email: Web:

Exploration and Mining

Dr David C. Reid

Principal Research Engineer

Dr Mark T Dunn

Research Engineer

Phone: 07 3327 4437