Coal Age

JUL-AUG 2018

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July/August 2018 27 collision avoidance continued because "CAS broadcasts updates every 100 milliseconds, so receivers never have to work from stale data." Via the DSRC platform, CAS can sup- port vehicle-to-infrastructure communi- cations while ensuring a high degree of security and privacy, Dunsch said. These capabilities contribute to the system's abili- ty to transmit "time-sensitive, critical alerts regarding potential collisions in real time." CAS transmits geospatial reference data via antenna. A light vehicle typically is equipped with one. "Modular employs a dual-DSRC-antenna configuration on haul trucks to prevent radio shadows, an area behind a large object in which no ra- dio signals can be received," Dunsch said. Each provides "360° detection around each vehicle, requires no communication infrastructure, and establishes communi- cations immediately," Dunsch said. "The antennas are ruggedly built to withstand extreme conditions, providing high reli- ability in such harsh mining environments as rain, fog, snow, dust and mud." The antennae transmit information directly to other vehicles and equipped infrastructure within a 150-m to 400-m range. That information includes data captured by Modular's Global Navigation Satellite System, which tells CAS each vehicle's location, speed and trajectory, Dunsch said. "The host vehicle transmits this information directly to remote ve- hicles around it via DSRC, helping each vehicle determine potential collision haz- ards," he said. "If the system in any vehi- cle determines a high probability for a collision risk with any other vehicle, it will notify the operators, giving them enough time to make corrective actions and pre- vent the potential collision." CAS alerts appear on "a mobile dis- play mounted in the cab of each vehicle," Dunsch reported. "The display alerts op- erators graphically as notification-level alerts, or graphically and audibly as warn- ing-level alerts, depending on the current risk of collision." The system uses "intelligent path pre- diction algorithms to help filter out false alarms," Dunsch said. "When an operator receives an alert from the CAS, they can trust that the alert is legitimate, and since the alert transmission is near-instanta- neous, they have time to take corrective action to prevent collision." Dunsch described DSRC platform- based communications as the "fastest pos- sible," enabling CAS "to transmit immedi- ate alerts within milliseconds of the sys- tem's detection of a potential collision risk, increasing operators' situational awareness and empowering them to take corrective action to prevent an impending collision." By leveraging the DSRC platform, CAS has proven reliability. DSRC communica- tions are "immune to such environmental effects as high dust, mud, snow, rain and fog," Dunsch said. "This makes the DSRC technology especially effective in open- pit coal mines, which tend to have many low-visibility areas, as well as mines locat- ed in challenging climates." And because the DSCR platform operates on a dedicat- ed channel, "the message transmission will not be affected by other wireless tech- nology signals," he said. DSRC tech is being adopted by many of the major automobile manufacturers that sell to the public and will be built into future vehicle models. When one enters the mine site, it would receive pertinent action- able data, Dunsch said. "Since the DSRC capability is already built in to these visiting vehicles, they will be detected by all CAS- equipped vehicles on site, without an oper- ator's need to turn the technology on or off," he said. "The lighter, visiting vehicle may also receive its own notifications, since it will be equipped with the same DSRC technolo- gy that the mine site's large vehicles use." CAS works best in large, open-pit op- erations. "Cluttered environments with high walls and deep pits might reduce the effective range, but DSRC is intended for use in urban environments and was designed to perform even in challenging mining environments," Dunsch said. "As is true for all radio waves, an open, unob- structed plane tends to provide the best setting and longest communication range for the DSRC technology." Pre-existing infrastructure require- ments for deploying CAS are minimal. It "does not require any communications infrastructure to transmit alerts to opera- tors," Dunsch said. "However, to integrate the CAS with Modular's DISPATCH FMS for assessment or reporting purposes, a separate high-bandwidth wireless net- work is required." Integrating CAS with FMS enables the former to route data that triggers notifications about non-typical events in DISPATCH, and to alert the mine controller or dispatcher as needed, he said. "Modular does also recommend, and use, network infrastructure for support, health monitoring and firmware updates." CAS can operate as a stand-alone system and as a stepping stone toward the eventual adoption of Modular's FMS. Its simplicity and dependability make it an optimal entry point, Dunsch said. "The peer-to-peer approach employed by DSRC provides the capability to effectively improve operators' situational awareness facilitating the safety-improving capabil- ity that mines need without requiring a wireless data network or other communi- cations infrastructure." DSRC facilitates the near-instant vehicle-to-vehicle communications necessary for Modular's Collision Awareness System. (Photo: Modular Mining Systems)

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