Kray Luxbacher, Professor and Associate Department Head for the mining and minerals engineering department, has been selected a Henry Krumb Lecturer by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration(SME). Through its Henry Krumb Lecture series, SME brings outstanding speakers to its local sections to enhance their appreciation and understanding of important new methods and technologies. Lecturers are selected from professionals throughout the industry who have presented technical papers at the SME Annual Conference and Expo.
Dr. Luxbacher’s lecture is titled Comparisons of Novel Fiber Optic to Standard Heat of Combustion Methane Sensors in a Coal Mine. A novel sensor using fiber optic technology has been developed for use in underground mines. Fiber optic sensing technology has been around and applied for many uses in all industries including mining. The practice of using this technology in underground mine atmosphere sensing applications is a relatively recent occurrence. Fiber optic sensing in underground mines is expected to be superior due to its intrinsic safety, large detection range, and high sensitivity. A robust methane sensor using fiber optic technology has been developed to sense concentrations from 0.1% up to a maximum of 100%. To validate this technology, a test is performed to verify sensor sensitivity, response time, and agreement with current proven heat of combustion methane sensors. These two sensing technologies are placed in a return entry for a p rolonged period of time, data is collected and a comparison and verification of the data are presented.