MSHA Communications and Tracking Workshop


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  • Welcome Webcast attendees also Regrets from John Faini, Steve Turow, and Steve Gigliotti Lunch in cafeteria Coffee available in cafeteria Webcast Archive on MSHA’s website Email address for comments Availability of Presentations – MSHA website Questions – speak into microphones Feedback Form Thanks to Juliette and Debbie
  • MSHA Communications and Tracking Workshop

    1. 1. MSHA Communications and Tracking Workshop March 17, 2010
    2. 2. Welcome!
    3. 3. Workshop Agenda <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>Technology Review </li></ul><ul><li>NIOSH Presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Issues - canceled </li></ul><ul><li>Communication and Tracking Approvals </li></ul><ul><li>ERP Status </li></ul><ul><li>ERP Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Questions and Answers </li></ul>
    4. 4. MINER Act Requirements <ul><li>“ Post Accident Wireless Two-Way Communication Medium ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Electronic Tracking System ” </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency Response Plans submitted by June 15, 2009 </li></ul>
    5. 5. MINER Act Requirements <ul><li>Approved Plans shall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Afford miners a level of safety protection at least consistent with the existing standards, including standards mandated by law and regulation; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect the most recent credible scientific research; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be technologically feasible, make use of current commercially available technology, and account for the specific physical characteristics of the mine; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect the improvements in mine safety gained from experience under this Act and other worker safety and health laws. </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. MINER Act Requirements <ul><li>ERPs must be reviewed by MSHA at least every 6 months. MSHA must consider: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comments submitted by miners or miners’ representatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intervening advancements in science and technology that could be implemented to enhance miners’ ability to evacuate or otherwise survive in an emergency. </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. MSHA Technical Support Communication and Tracking Committee History <ul><li>MSHA formed committee shortly after Sago and Aracoma Disasters </li></ul><ul><li>Committee charged with investigating communication and tracking technologies including those used in other industries: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initially investigated PED and Tracker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewed responses to MSHA’s request for information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinated technology testing at Consol McElroy Mine </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. MSHA Committee History <ul><li>Met with product developers to provide technical assistance (70 different companies) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Underground coal mine needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Approval assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test/demo arrangements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Attend demonstrations (74 tests/demos) </li></ul><ul><li>Assist product developers (185 proposals) </li></ul>
    9. 9. MSHA Committee History <ul><li>Develop Guidance PPL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not regulation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assist enforcement with evaluation of ERPs </li></ul><ul><li>Assist SOL with legal issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RFI in anthracite mines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coverage in working sections </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. NIOSH Partnership <ul><li>Assist with contract evaluations </li></ul><ul><li>Share information </li></ul><ul><li>Participate with NMA/BCOA communication partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Share MSHA approval and ERP information </li></ul>
    11. 11. CT Guidance PPL <ul><li>Published in January 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Provided guidance for compliance with MINER Act </li></ul><ul><li>Voice or Text Communications continuous in escapeways and on working section </li></ul>
    12. 12. CT Guidance PPL <ul><li>Redundant Communications </li></ul><ul><li>2000’ tracking accuracy in escapeways </li></ul><ul><li>200’ tracking accuracy on working section </li></ul><ul><li>Required coverage in other “strategic areas” </li></ul>
    13. 13. Q and A Documents <ul><li>Original posted in April 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Supplemental posted in January 2010 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on questions received at stakeholder meetings and elsewhere </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Q and A Documents <ul><li>Provided further clarifications </li></ul><ul><li>MSHA will consolidate and update Q and A documents in near future. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Website Information <ul><li>Current communication and tracking program status </li></ul><ul><li>Listing of potentially MINER Act compliant MSHA approved products </li></ul><ul><li>Mine Communication and Tracking Tutorial (courtesy of NIOSH) </li></ul><ul><li>Policy letters and guidance information (Q and As) </li></ul>
    16. 16. Website Information <ul><li>Consol McElroy final report </li></ul><ul><li>Presentations and webcast archive from this workshop will be added </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul>
    17. 17. What does the future hold ? <ul><li>Installation issues in coming months </li></ul><ul><li>Updated MINER Act compliance guide (Q and As) </li></ul><ul><li>MSHA inspection procedures to verify compliance with ERPs </li></ul>
    18. 18. What does the future hold ? <ul><li>Technology performance comparison </li></ul><ul><li>Eventual regulation? </li></ul>
    19. 19. Today’s Agenda <ul><li>Technology Review </li></ul><ul><li>NIOSH Presentation </li></ul><ul><li>CT Approval Status </li></ul><ul><li>ERP Status </li></ul><ul><li>ERP Issues Panel Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Q and A </li></ul>
    20. 20. Communication and Tracking Technologies MSHA Communication and Tracking Workshop March 17, 2010
    21. 21. Definitions <ul><li>Wireless System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A system where the link between the user and the system is wireless. A system that operates locally without wires. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mesh Network </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A communications system where every node is connected to every other node and consequently has built in redundancy. In underground mines, this connectivity may be limited by the mine’s geometry. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Leaky Feeder </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A communications device also known as “leaky coax,” which assists wireless transmission. A coaxial cable that has been modified to allow signals traveling within it to leak out over its entire length </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Definitions <ul><li>RFID </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A system that uses radio waves to communicate identification information between a tag and a reader. In currently MSHA approved coal mine tracking systems, the tag is worn by the miner and readers are placed throughout the mine . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Through-the-earth (TTE) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A low frequency communications system that does not rely on any devices, wires, or structures between the transmitter and receiver. Because of the low frequency it can transmit signals through solid matter like rock. </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Definitions <ul><li>Medium Frequency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communications systems that operate in the range of 300-3000 KHz. MF systems have been shown to work well in tunnels where there are metallic structures such as power lines and pipes. The signals can couple onto conductors and travel long distances. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Redundancy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Redundancy involves the duplication of system functions to ensure that those functions will survive some level of damage to the system; in the context of communications systems; it is used to describe a system that can maintain communications with the surface when a single communication path is disrupted. </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Approved Product Listing Review <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Peripherals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leaky Feeder Communication Systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tracking Systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fixed Node Based Communications and Tracking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wireless Mesh Communications and Tracking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medium Frequency Communications </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Approved Technologies Leaky Feeder Communications <ul><li>High percentage of mines specified in ERPs </li></ul><ul><li>VHF vs UHF </li></ul><ul><li>Trade-off of high cost cable vs. optimized coverage </li></ul><ul><li>MINER Act compliance requires redundant entry coverage. </li></ul>
    26. 26. Approved Technologies RFID Tracking <ul><li>Radio Frequency Identification </li></ul><ul><li>Common technology used in many other industrial applications. </li></ul><ul><li>Majority of mines specified this tracking method </li></ul><ul><li>Zone based tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Accuracy is dependent on spacing of readers. </li></ul>
    27. 27. Approved Technologies Wired Mesh Communications and/or Tracking <ul><li>Mesh based systems relying on wires for signal propagation </li></ul><ul><li>Fiber optic, coaxial, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Some use standard protocols, e.g., 802.11; others don’t </li></ul>
    28. 28. Approved Technologies Wireless Mesh Communications and Tracking <ul><li>Mesh system that use wireless signal propagation </li></ul><ul><li>Some use standard protocols; others don’t </li></ul><ul><li>Most rely on external antennas for optimal signal propagation </li></ul><ul><li>Can use relative signal strength for tracking </li></ul>
    29. 29. Approved Technologies Medium Frequency Repeater <ul><li>Allows interconnection of medium frequency communications with leaky feeder </li></ul><ul><li>Use existing metal infrastructure for signal propagation </li></ul><ul><li>Medium frequency radio not yet MSHA approved </li></ul>
    30. 30. Developing Technologies <ul><li>Fully Wireless </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No antenna wires </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No mine power cables </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Normally battery powered </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Through-the-earth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Several NIOSH contracts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>one under evaluation for MSHA approval </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would be limited application solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Point to point communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secondary communication system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not provide tracking. </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. Developing Technologies <ul><li>Medium Frequency Radios </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good secondary communication system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could be viable mine emergency solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not provide tracking. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inertial navigation tracking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential to provide precision tracking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>+ 10 feet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reverse RFID tracking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Person worn readers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tags would be mine infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential to provide greater degree of accuracy </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. Thanks for your attention ! Juliette Hill Phone: (304) 547-2063 Email: [email_address]