Post-accident mine communications and tracking systems

Thomas Novak, David P. Snyder, Jeffery L. Kohler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Recent mine disasters in the United States exposed various inadequacies and gaps in mine-safety technology. Congress responded to these tragedies by enacting the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act), which resulted in the most significant change to mine-safety laws in 30 years. To help meet the requirements of the MINER Act and to help eliminate future tragedies, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) initiated aggressive research programs for developing new, and enhancing existing, mine-safety technologies. A major research emphasis addressed the lack of postaccident communications, which surfaced as a critical deficiency in some disasters. As a result, three communications approaches emerged as viable technologies - enhanced leaky-feeder, wireless-mesh, and medium-frequency systems. This paper describes the operation, application, advantages, and disadvantages of each system, as well as the challenges associated with underground wireless communications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2009 IEEE Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 IEEE Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting - Houston, TX, United States
Duration: Oct 4 2008Oct 8 2008

Publication series

NameConference Record - IAS Annual Meeting (IEEE Industry Applications Society)
ISSN (Print)0197-2618


Conference2009 IEEE Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHouston, TX


  • Mine communications
  • Mine disasters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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