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Collapse Area Can Be Predetermined


Collapse in the mines can be foreseen in advance and the caving-in location and time can be identified. This has become possible due to the basic research carried out by scientists of the Ioffe Physical & Engineering Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences. Specialists of INTERUNIS company have undertaken to embody the above concepts in a prototype model of the device.

The system will consist of the ’’case on wheels’’ containing the computer and signal processing cards, and several sensors (16 sensors are planned to be installed in a test sample) connected to the computer by cables. The sensors will be immured in the walls of the mine or of any other underground depositary to be surveyed. The sensors catch elastic waves emitted by rock while breaking up, once a certain threshold value is reached, the device will produce danger warning and will indicate the exact location where the breaking-down is going to take place.

The researchers have proceeded from the fact that rock does not disrupt at an instant, the breaking-down is sometimes preceded by a lengthy period of strain accumulation. Initially, small bed joints are formed in different locations, the process can last pretty long, but when the bed joints become numerous, they immediately combine into large cracks and emit elastic waves of major energy - at this point, the process becomes critical. During major earthquakes, breakings dissect the earth surface and can be as long as several kilometers, but the way they are formed is similar to the one taking place underground. Therefore, the method of the threat area determination proposed by the physicists headed by professor Kuksenko is also applicable to forecasting major calamities.

Similar devices are being currently produced outside Russia, but such systems are intended for a narrow frequency band and can track the rock volume of 10 through 100 cubic meters. The Russian scientists are planning to develop a device which will analyze a wide band of waves and determine the break-up area at the distance of several kilometers. The device testing will be carried out in real-life environment: in a mine or an underground waste liquids depositary.

Tatiana Pitchugina | alfa

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