Thursday, 6 March 2014

Major Project: Drill Research and Inspiration

The second area of research for my project is that of mining methods and drilling technology, which I will
combine with my research of space exploration vehicles such as the Mars rovers in order to create my designs.

The three main pieces of technology which I want to focus on designing are:

-IMASR 1 (Interstellar Mining and Surveying Rover) Which discovers Glaciers beneath the surface of mars.
-The subsurface Mining drill used to excavate the mineral rich ice
-The Conveyor system used to transport the mined ice.

To do this I have been researching the different forms of underground mining and the equipment used in the process. The most common form of mining in the world is coal mining, which is the number one source of energy in the world. There are many different processes of mining coal, but the main methods I am interested in for my project are 'Continuous Mining' 'and Long Wall Mining'.

The technology I have been looking at for the design of IMASR 1 is that of surface drilling machines. These machines are often used for sample mining to survey an area and search for valuable minerals to mine. They can be manned or remote controlled depending on the design of the machine, which makes it perfect for study for the IMASR.




Continuing with the research in underground mining, I have been looking at the different equipment used to safely mine materials underground in the most efficient way, which brought me to this video which was very useful.


I am very interested in continuous mining as this would be the most effective technique when considering mining a material such as ice. There is no need to mine ice on earth, and so there are no direct methods of doing so, a continuous haulage system would ensure that the ice would be transported to a temperature controlled area before it has time to melt.

A slandered continuous haulage system consists of conveyor units which link together to form one long maneuverable conveyor belt which can follow the mining drill, which means there is no need to halt mining while the ice is transported to the temperature controlled area. This system fitted with a large scale water cooling system would be able to transport the mined ice, and keep it cool whilst doing so.


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