Last week, Freiberg University (Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg) held a three-day training event for new mine rescue aspirants. This also marked the first usage of Mittweida’s Mine Rescue Simulator.

Over the last 10 months, a group of software developers was engaged in a cooperative research project of Freiberg University and Mittweida University of Applied Sciences. This research project, Mining-RoX, produced a number of 3D scans of mine sections below Freiberg, Saxony. After a period of discussion about the application and visualization of said scans, they were tasked with creating a prototype for a mine rescue simulator.

Using Cinector technology, they now can present the working program. Up to five candidates, the usual size of a mine rescue unit, can be evaluated in customizable training scenarios and prepare themselves to make split-second decisions under stress. Missing persons, fire, gas, mine collapse – all those circumstances can now be simulated without much complication (as opposed to, for example, halting the operations of a mine for a three-hour exercise).

While the program may still be but a prototype, it worked quite admirably under the given conditions. The overseeing professor, Prof. Helmut Mischo, Chair for Underground Mining Methods, even stated that the influence of the virtual training session was obvious through the efficiency of the participants during the ensuing real-life drills.