Mining Environment Detection System
Small Business Information
SENSOR RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT CORP, 17 GODFREY DR, ORONO, ME, 04473-
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Elevated levels of flammable, explosive and toxic gases in underground mines are well-documented causative factors in the fatalities and injuries associated with mining activities. Sensor Research and Development (SRD)Corporation will advance the current technologies used to detect and monitor the unsafe gases found in underground coal mining operations by developing a robust, multi-functional gas detector system that can be applied to all of the critical gas monitoringrequirements in mining operations. The ultimate goal of this applied research is the commercialization of a comprehensive multi-gas analyzer, suitable for stationary, portable and machine mounted applications with the necessary support electronics and software enabling complete wireless data transfer to remote control centers. The capabilities of this novel mine atmosphere monitor technology will permit real- time gas monitoring of the complete mine system and provide reliable data for the early detectionand prevention of methane explosions and the detection and control of spontaneous heating events. The multi-gas sensing element is a monolithic complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) micro- hotplate sensor array support platform which currently supports 16 nano-sized semiconducting metal- oxide (SMO) sensors, each coated with a chemically tailored, analyte selective, metal oxide catalyst doped sensing film. These 16 selective gas sensors and the signal processing algorithms used to analyze the datawill detect, monitor and quantitate the chemical components of complex atmospheric gas mixtures within diverse gas backgrounds. This multi-gas analyzer will detect and monitor in real- time, the hazardous gases associated with mine explosions and fire (methane, carbon monoxide, oxygen, carbon dioxide, etc.) and will have the required characteristics (suitable for use in harsh environments, durable, robust) and functionality to replace all gas detectors (stationary, hand-held, machine mounted) currently usedin mining operations. Most importantly, the intent of this effort is to provide the mining industry with a sensitive, robust, real-time, autonomous gas monitor with the requisite wireless data transfer capability to apply predictive modeling tools for theprevention of mine related fires and explosions. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Significant improvements in the safety of underground mining operations, by reducing fatalities and injuries caused by fire and explosions, can be realized through technological advancements in gas detection equipment. Real-time, hazardous gas concentration data will be collected using sensors distributed throughout the underground mine, and analyzed to predict, alert and prevent mine disasters resulting from spontaneous combustion and explosions.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.