The application of virtual reality to the simulation of mine fires and explosions

Walsha, Timothy (1999) The application of virtual reality to the simulation of mine fires and explosions. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Despite significant improvements in mine safety, underground mine fires and explosions are responsible for a significant number of deaths world-wide each year. The training of personnel in safety procedures has had a significant impact on reducing the frequency of injuries and fatalities. This thesis presents an innovative virtual reality simulation, 'Fire-VR', designed to enhance the visualisation of a mine ventilation system. Fire-VR incorporates existing ventilation network analysis procedures with a graphical front-end and offers considerable potential for user interactivity in training scenarios.

The system, Fire-VR incorporates a suite of programs, created to model the mine infra-structure, ventilation system and environment of a typical mine. The key components include the ventilation modelling system (VentSim-VR) to simulate the flow of air through the mine network and an environment modelling system (EnvSim-VR) to simulate the effects of various external and internal influences on the quality of the ventilated air within the mine. The environmental system is able to model both pre-defined events (such as the liberation of firedamp from the strata) which can occur at certain times and also spontaneous events which occur when pre-determined criteria have been met.

The system has been created with two main interfaces for the user to interact with. Firstly, the 2D interface shows a plan view of the mine network with the primary function of displaying environmental and ventilation information. Secondly, the 3D interface, used as the main virtual reality graphical front-end to the simulation provides the user with a rich semi-immersive virtual environment. It is suggested that Fire-VR can potentially be applied in the training of personnel at a significantly reduced cost and in a safe environment. To demonstrate this a number of possible training examples have been presented to showcase the potential of the Fire-VR software.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Denby, B.
Keywords: Mine safety, fires, mines, mineral resources, engineering, computer simulation, air flow
Subjects: T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Item ID: 11525
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2010 13:06
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2017 07:15

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