Underground coal mine environmental multi-parameter monitoring module with embedded sensors: Application of UHF radio transceiver device





Underground coal mine environmental monitoring is required to ensure and maximize the safe working conditions in mines. For safety monitoring, there is a need to develop an active communication and information network that will be able to detect quickly and efficiently the mine environmental condition and take necessary actions to warn the workers about the environmental condition of the mining area. This can be achieved by the application of long-range wireless communication technology. In the present study, we designed and developed an embedded sensor module to monitor the multiple parameters of environment, including temperature, humidity, methane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and coal dust. These multi-parameter monitoring sensors have been interfaced with an Arduino microcontroller. The XBee S8 Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) transceiver device has been used to enable the long-range communication. The specified parameters have been predicted for the safety tenacity in the underground coal mine. A new approach for the calibration process of gas sensors and coal dust sensor has been suggested to acquire desired gas concentrations and dust density in the underground mine air. The computer has been interfaced with the system for environmental multi-parameter monitoring. A successful laboratory trial has been made under the real conditions. In addition, the rangeability of the UHF radio transceiver device and power management of the embedded monitoring module have also been discussed.


L. K. Bandyopadhyay, S. K. Chaulya, P. K. Mishra, Wireless Communication in Underground Mines. Boston, MA: Springer US, 2010, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-98165-9.

A. R. Chowdhury, A. Pramanik, G. C. Roy, “On wireless communication in underground mine system,” in Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Communication, Devices and Computing, 2020, pp. 159–169, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-0829-5_16.

S. K. Chaulya, G. M. Prasad, Sensing and Monitoring Technologies for Mines and Hazardous Areas. Elsevier, 2016, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/C2014-0-02742-6.

Y. Nugroho, R. Iman, M. Saleh, “Effect of humidity on self-heating of a sub-bituminous coal under adiabatic conditions,” Fire Saf. Sci., vol. 9, pp. 179–189, 2008, doi: https://doi.org/10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.9-179.

A. H. Clemens, T. W. Matheson, “The role of moisture in the self-heating of low-rank coals,” Fuel, vol. 75, no. 7, pp. 891–895, 1996, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/0016-2361(96)00010-5.

P. Sarkar, “Standards and safety provisions of diesel equipment for using in belowground coal and metalliferous mines,” 2018. https://www.dgms.gov.in/writereaddata/UploadFile/Cir_2018_01_SnT_Tech636707023791212360.pdf.

P. Mishra, . Pratik, M. Kumar, S. Kumar, “Wireless carbon monoxide monitoring system using Intel Galileo platform,” in NexGen Technologies for Mining and Fuel Industries, 2017, pp. 635–638.

S. M. Ledange, S. S. Mathurkar, “Robot based wireless monitoring and safety system for underground coal mines using ZigBee,” Int. J. Electron. Commun. Eng., vol. 3, no. 10, pp. 29–32, 2016, doi: https://doi.org/10.14445/23488549/IJECE-V3I10P106.

M. Sharma, T. Maity, “Low cost low power smart helmet for real-time remote underground mine environment monitoring,” Wirel. Pers. Commun., vol. 102, no. 1, pp. 149–162, 2018, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11277-018-5831-1.

J. B. Riggs, “Method for controlling H2 /CO ratio of in-situ coal gasification product gas,” U.S. Patent No. 4,476,927, 1984.

S. K. Ray, R. P. Singh, N. Sahay, N. K. Varma, “Assessing the status of sealed fire in underground coal mines,” J. Sci. Ind. Res., vol. 63, no. 7, pp. 579–591, 2004, uri: http://nopr.niscpr.res.in/handle/123456789/5458.

N. Mohalik, R. Singh, V. Singh, D. Tripathi, “Critical appraisal to assess the extent of fire in old abandoned coal mine areas - Indian context,” in Coal 2009: Coal Operators’ Conference, 2009, pp. 271–280, uri: https://ro.uow.edu.au/coal/109/.

P. K. Mishra, S. Kumar, . Pratik, M. Kumar, J. Kumar, “IoT based multimode sensing platform for underground coal mines,” Wirel. Pers. Commun., vol. 108, no. 2, pp. 1227–1242, 2019, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11277-019-06466-z.

Y. Fang, Q. Li, Z. Chen, C. Tu, “Development of simulator for mine dust and disturbing environment,” IOP Conf. Ser. Mater. Sci. Eng., vol. 740, no. 112006, 2020, doi: https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/740/1/012006.

D. S. Vujić, J. D. Ćertić, “Modelling of ultra high frequency television band radio signal propagation in underground mine environment,” Wirel. Networks, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 2117–2128, 2019, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11276-018-1801-5.

S. Y. Zhuk, I. O. Tovkach, Y. Y. Reutska, “Adaptive filtration of radio source movement parameters based on sensor network TDOA measurements in presence of anomalous measurements,” Radioelectron. Commun. Syst., vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 61–71, 2019, doi: https://doi.org/10.3103/S073527271902002X.

I. Digi, “XBee 868LP RF Module User Guide,” 2018. uri: https://www.digi.com/resources/documentation/digidocs/pdfs/90002126.pdf.

U. D. Atmojo, Z. Salcic, K. I.-K. Wang, H. Park, “System-level approach to the design of ambient intelligence systems based on wireless sensor and actuator networks,” J. Ambient Intell. Humaniz. Comput., vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 153–169, 2015, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12652-014-0221-3.

W. Chen, X. Wang, “Coal mine safety intelligent monitoring based on wireless sensor network,” IEEE Sensors J., vol. 21, no. 22, pp. 25465–25471, 2021, doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/JSEN.2020.3046287.

P. K. Mishra, A. Swain, S. Kumar, S. K. Mandal, “Wireless paging system for underground mines,” Radioelectron. Commun. Syst., vol. 64, no. 1, pp. 14–25, 2021, doi: https://doi.org/10.3103/S0735272721010027.

Q. Wang, J. Wei, “Design of temperature control device underground coal mine based on AT89S52,” in 2009 2nd International Conference on Power Electronics and Intelligent Transportation System (PEITS), 2009, pp. 36–39, doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/PEITS.2009.5406880.

S. Yang, Y. Pan, “The application of the Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) in the monitoring of Fushun Reach River in China,” in 2010 Second International Conference on Computer and Network Technology, 2010, pp. 331–333, doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICCNT.2010.70.

C. Hui, “Research of intelligent gas detecting system for coal mine,” in International Conference on Computer and Computing Technologies in Agriculture, 2011, pp. 268–278, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-18369-0_31.

S. Baishun, P. Zhengduo, M. Guoying, “Design of the mine gas sensor based on Zigbee,” in Third International Symposium Computer Science and Computational Technology (ISCSCT 2010), 2010, pp. 77–81.

W. Wei, S. Hua, L. Changqing, “Wireless co sensor in mine hardware design based on zigbee,” in Third International Symposium Computer Science and Computational Technology (ISCSCT 2010), 2010, p. 455.

G. Bin, H. Li, “The research on ZigBee-based mine safety monitoring system,” in 2011 International Conference on Electric Information and Control Engineering, 2011, pp. 1837–1840, doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICEICE.2011.5777745.

J. Song, Y. Zhu, F. Dong, “Automatic monitoring system for coal mine safety based on wireless sensor network,” in Proceedings of 2011 Cross Strait Quad-Regional Radio Science and Wireless Technology Conference, 2011, pp. 933–936, doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/CSQRWC.2011.6037110.

C. Bo, Q. Xiuquan, W. Budan, W. Xiaokun, S. Ruisheng, C. Junliang, “RESTful web service mashup based coal mine safety monitoring and control automation with wireless sensor network,” in 2012 IEEE 19th International Conference on Web Services, 2012, pp. 620–622, doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICWS.2012.106.

R. Boddu, P. Balanagu, N. S. Babu, “Zigbee based mine safety monitoring system with GSM,” Int. J. Comput. Commun. Technol., vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 63–67, 2012.

K. M. Dange, R. T. Patil, “Design of monitoring system for coal mine safety based on MSP430,” Int. J. Eng. Sci. Invent., vol. 2, no. 7, pp. 14–19, 2013.

C. Zhao, F. Liu, X. Hai, “An application of wireless sensor networks in underground coal mine,” Int. J. Futur. Gener. Commun. Netw., vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 117–126, 2013, doi: https://doi.org/10.14257/ijfgcn.2013.6.5.11.

J. Wang, F. Wang, Z. Fan, “Mine environment monitoring system based on wireless sensor network,” TELKOMNIKA Indones. J. Electr. Eng., vol. 11, no. 7, 2013, doi: https://doi.org/10.11591/telkomnika.v11i7.2815.

Z. Xiaodong, T. Yuegang, H. Yan, “Research and application of embedded technology in remote network monitoring system of coal mine,” in The 26th Chinese Control and Decision Conference (2014 CCDC), 2014, pp. 4112–4116, doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/CCDC.2014.6852901.

Y. Zhang, W. Yang, D. Han, Y.-I. Kim, “An integrated environment monitoring system for underground coal mines—wireless sensor network subsystem with multi-parameter monitoring,” Sensors, vol. 14, no. 7, pp. 13149–13170, 2014, doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/s140713149.

M. A. Moridi, Y. Kawamura, M. Sharifzadeh, E. K. Chanda, H. Jang, “An investigation of underground monitoring and communication system based on radio waves attenuation using ZigBee,” Tunn. Undergr. Sp. Technol., vol. 43, pp. 362–369, 2014, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2014.05.011.

W. Li, K. Dai, “Design of coal mine intelligent monitoring system based on ZigBee wireless sensor network,” in Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Mechanics, Materials and Structural Engineering, 2016, doi: https://doi.org/10.2991/icmmse-16.2016.31.

Y. S. Dohare, T. Maity, P. S. Paul, H. Prasad, “Smart low power wireless sensor network for underground mine environment monitoring,” in 2016 3rd International Conference on Recent Advances in Information Technology (RAIT), 2016, pp. 112–116, doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/RAIT.2016.7507885.

B. Jo, R. Khan, “An event reporting and early-warning safety system based on the Internet of Things for underground coal mines: a case study,” Appl. Sci., vol. 7, no. 9, p. 925, 2017, doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/app7090925.

T. Do, “Delicensing in 865-867 MHz band,” The gazette of India, 2008.

F. F. Dubrovka, A. V. Tolkachev, “End-fire ultrawideband low profile dipole-slot antenna,” Radioelectron. Commun. Syst., vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 145–150, 2015, doi: https://doi.org/10.3103/S0735272715040019.

R. Piyare, S.-R. Lee, “Performance analysis of XBee ZB module based wireless sensor networks,” Int. J. Sci. Eng. Res., vol. 4, no. 5, pp. 1615–1621, 2013.

S. Kumar, P. K. Mishra, J. Kumar, “Evaluation of measured digital output of gas sensors during spontaneous heating of coal,” IETE Tech. Rev., vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 594–599, 2019, doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/02564602.2018.1531736.

H. Ikeda, O. Kolade, M. A. Mahboob, F. T. Cawood, Y. Kawamura, “Communication of sensor data in underground mining environments: an evaluation of wireless signal quality over distance,” Mining, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 211–223, 2021, doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/mining1020014.

Laboratory setup for gas sensor calibration





Research Articles