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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Research project: Blast location in mines and tunnels.

Currently Active: 
Yes

When tunnels or mines are dug explosive charges are set off in a carefully timed sequence. It’s important to be sure that they all went off correctly, otherwise live charges might be encountered when clearing the resulting rubble. We can’t rely on sensors placed close to the charge as they’re liable to be destroyed before they can provide enough information so instead we look at ways to detect individual charges remotely.

A sequence of charges ready for blasting.
Charges ready for blasting.

We use the vibration signature of each charge that is transmitted through the surrounding rock. This is strong enough to be detected at a safe distance. Before setting the main charges we calibrate the system with small non-destructive charges in each hole, which are different enough to be distinguishable due to the complex nature of the vibration path from the source to the receiver. We then look for related signals in the recording of the main blasting sequence.

Related research groups

Acoustics Group
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