Location sensing is an essential element in the development of advanced automated mining systems. While accurate GPS systems are now commonly used to monitor the position of above-ground mining machines, satellite based GPS is not available for underground applications. In 1994 CSIRO, Australia demonstrated that high accuracy military grade inertial sensors can be employed to accurately determine the absolute position of remotely controlled underground mining machinery.
This technology breakthrough found immediate application in highwall mining and has had a major impact in this industry. It is this technology which is at the heart of AMT’s time-proven Mk4 Highwall Guidance System and further developed in the next generation Mining Guidance System for new underground coal mining methods and advanced potash mining applications.
Inertial navigation is also applicable in other mining applications such as automation of the longwall mining process and associated roadway development.