A portable non-contacting technique for determining the condition of a mine tunnel roof would be of great benefit to health and safety in the mining industry, it could allow an unsafe roof to be identified without the investigator having to be positioned within the hazardous area. It would beparticularly useful in the cut-out area of a tunnel excavation, prior to support placement, and could facilitate dynamic decision making on the timing of support placement. Concludes that the most promising principles for development of a mobile or portable, non-intrusive instrument for detecting failing and/or failed rock in a working mining environment are; measurement of induced vibration using a laser vibrometer or similar device and detection of an induced thermal gradient using a thermal imaging system.
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