Longwall Automation 2

Underground » Major Project

Published: May 08Project Number: C15002

Get ReportAuthor: David Hainsworth, David Reid, Con Caris, JC Ralston, CO Hargrave, Ron McPhee, IN Hutchinson, A Strange, C Wesner | CSIRO

This report covers a nominal two-year extension to the Major Longwall Automation Project (C10100). This report presents work programs undertaken, results achieved against the original goals and subsequently re-scoped goals and recommendations for further work. This document is the final report.  It is an integrated document that includes an earlier interim report (May 2007) and final results from a supplementary work program (May to December 2007) to address outcomes that were delayed beyond the nominal end date of the project.  The general goals of the project have been to build on the outcomes of project C10100 (report published Feb 2005), in particular by developing commercial prototypes of proof-of-concept outcomes and by developing new findings to experimental level.  The major outcomes of the project have been:

  • Production standard implementation of Longwall Automation Steering Committee (LASC) automation systems has been achieved at Beltana and Broadmeadow mines. The systems are now used on a 24/7 basis and have provided production benefits to the mines.
  • The LASC Information System (LIS) has been updated and has been implemented successfully in the IT environment of major coal mining houses.  This enables 3D visualisation of the longwall environment and equipment to be accessed on line. A simulator has been specified and a prototype system is now ready for implementation.   
  • The Shearer Position Measurement System (SPMS) has been upgraded to a modular commercial production standard hardware solution.   
  • In addressing horizon control issues, a compact hardware solution for visual face monitoring has been developed, an approved enclosure for a thermal infrared camera has been produced and software for providing horizon control through faulted conditions has been delivered. The incorporation of the LASC Cut Model information into OEM horizon control algorithms has been bench and underground tested.
  • In new technology development, a prototype system for shield convergence monitoring has been produced and studies to identify techniques for coal flow optimisation and void monitoring have been carried out.   
  • Liaison with equipment manufacturers has been maintained and technology delivery mechanisms for LASC hardware and software have been established.

For each of the specific outcome areas of the project, a summary report presents the goals, results and recommendations and a detailed report describes the various work programs in greater detail.

The table below gives a quick overview of project outputs in the two categories of delivery of commercial prototypes and development of new results to proof-ofconcept stage. The timing of project deliverables is shown and explanatory notes are added to indicate why outcomes were delayed until the end of 2007.    

These Major projects have provided a unique opportunity to fast-track research into longwall automation. However the task is not complete and there are recommendations for future work in all the research areas covered in this report.  CSIRO will be undertaking work in several of these areas where its capabilities can be most effectively deployed. These include ongoing commercialisation activities, completion of testing of prototypes developed in the extension project, and new technology development particularly in inertial navigation and radar technology as applied to mining.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C21013Improving Cavity Prediction On Longwall Faces Through A Combination Of Reliable Convergence, Canopy Attitude And Leg Pressure Monitoring

Most Australian coal mines have shield leg pressure monitoring in real t...

C24014Distributed Acoustic Conveyor Monitoring

CRC Mining have investigated the application of fibre optic Distribu...

C25054Distributed Acoustic Conveyor Monitoring - Phase 2

This project is phase 2 of the distributed acoustic sensing project ...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C23053A Study Of Sustainability And Profitability Of Grazing On Mine Rehabilitated Land In The Upper Hunter NSW

This study was initiated by the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue (UHMD) ...

C25035Coal Subsurface Mapping For Open Cut Selective Mining

A reliable coal seam sensing system is required to improve the produ...

C23025Coal Pit Lake Closure By River Flow Through: Risks And Opportunities

In 2011, the river diversion channel around Lake Kepwari, a former o...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C26007 Revised Dustiness And DEM Test Method (Update Of AS4156.6) Part 2:Preparation

In 2015 project C23054 investigated and reviewed the Australian Stan...

C22033Advanced Control And Optimisation Of DMC Operation

The objective of this project was to develop, implement and demonstr...

C24045Adaptation Of Coal Grain Analysis To Improve Flotation Yield Estimation

Yield estimation from resource data is notoriously difficult. Facto...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C25045Stage Two - Assessment Of In Situ High-Temperature Strength Of Cokes

Stage I of this project established a reliable and repeatable proces...

C25044Trace Elements In Coal; Status Of Test Methods In Use And Their Applicability


The key objectives of this stage...

C25042Mechanistic Model Of Coke Development In A Coke Oven Situation

The standard approach to evaluate the potential of coals or blends t...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C24061Proof-Of-Concept Photocatalytic Destruction Of Methane For Coal Mining Fugitive Emissions Abatement

Australia's fugitive emissions in 2015 were 41 Mt CO2-e (representin...

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement - Phase 3

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

C19054VAM Enrichment With A Two-Stage Adsorption Process

Treatment of ventilation air methane (VAM) with cost-effective technolog...

Mine Site Greenhouse Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook