Laser Alignment Techniques in Tunneling

by Austin Cooney, (A.M.ASCE), Resident Engineer; Construction Division, Bureau of Engineering, City of Chicago, Chicago, IL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Surveying and Mapping Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 2, Pg. 229-229

Document Type: Journal Paper


With the advent of the mechanical mining machine or mole, the engineer's role has become one of providing a constant course of direction for the machine rather than establishing and projecting the tunneled path traversed by it. The engineer's primary tool in accomplishing this task is an alignment control system capable, not only of providing guidance, but of detecting and distinguishing the component of motion generated by the mining machine. Consisting of a laser beam instrument, auxiliary control points along the tunnel, and a target system affixed to the machine, such a system provides a graphical guide to the machine operator. The mechanics of setting up such a system are outlined and various types of target systems are categorized. Techniques for adapting such a system to various alignment problems are proposed.

Subject Headings: Tunneling | Mines and mining | Alignment | Control systems | Breakwaters | Motion (dynamics) | Lasers | Beams

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