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Effects of obstructions, sample size and sample rate on ultrasonic anemometer measurements underground

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2011, Vol. 330, No. 1, pp. 585-590

Martikainen, A.L.; Taylor, C.D.; Mazzella, A.L.


In fluctuating airflow, continuous air velocity recording is the most reliable method of air velocity measurement. It allows for fast recognition of changes and the calculation of long-term averages. Also, it enables the mine operator to identify when the airflow has decreased to a point requiring action. Using ultrasonic anemometers provides an accurate option for continuous air velocity monitoring. This paper provides information about the effect of common obstructions in underground mining on air velocity readings. Stationary and moving obstructions are used to represent workers and equipment that would cause discrepancies in measured airflow. Also, it is important to know how large of a sample size is required to ensure reasonable accuracy of results. Statistical analysis is used to evaluate the required sample size. The sampling procedure is further studied by comparing two different sample rates. The results show that obstructions provide noticeable differences in air velocity measurements. Also, movement of obstructions can be recognized from changes in results. Surprisingly small sample sizes provide reliable air velocity information. Standard sample rates are found to be suitable for the underground environment.