LiDARs have been used for decades for the detection and monitoring of dust from a remote location. INO has been involved for over 15 years in the development of multiple LiDAR platforms that are targeting aerosols detection in particulates as well as gaseous formats. The LiDAR technology has been identified for its potential to better understand the production and movement of breathable dust with respect to miner working positions or monitor dust distribution behavior to identify the sources and transport of dust in large areas. Tests performed in the CDC/NIOSH simulated coal mine Long Wall and Continuous Miner galleries have confirmed this potential. The particular LiDAR platform used includes 4 optical heads that can capture simultaneously 4 LiDAR signal from 4 different lines of sight. One of the optical head is mounted on a Pan&Tilt Unit to allow mapping of dust dispersion. In the Long Wall Gallery, the LiDAR has demonstrated its ability to detect dust movements and to measure the displacement speed of dust cloud in turbulent conditions at different air velocities when looking along a fixed line of sight. It has been possible to show good temporal correlation between LiDAR relative assessed concentrations and measurements from NIOSH samplers located in the vicinity of LiDAR laser beams. This has allowed calibration of the LiDAR measurements within the range of temporal and spatial changes of concentrations in short periods of time or distances. The capability of the LiDAR to scan a volume to map the dust distribution within this volume has also been demonstrated in both galleries.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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