Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

K. Haustein, E. Widzyk-Capehart, P. Wang, D. Kirkwood and R. Prout, The Nexsys Real-time Risk Management and Decision Support System: Redefining the Future of Mine Safety, 11th Underground Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2011, 205-213.


Underground coal mine control rooms are inundated with data but there remains a lack of information enabling timely decision making. Control room operators’ cognitive abilities are stretched beyond their limits; processing of the vast array of data sourced from multiple, non-compatible proprietary systems coupled with old communications systems makes the job of a control room operator extremely challenging, if not impossible, particularly in emergency situations when speed and accuracy are of great importance. The CSIRO has developed a real-time risk management software called NexsysTM. NexsysTM is a decision-support system designed for the collection and integration of disparate mine data, real-time analysis of safety critical data and real-time risk profiling using rules-based trigger action response plans. The system allows access to a wide range of risk management data in an easily interpretable format and in real-time, such as, availability of messaging and tracking data to precisely determine the location of all personnel, vehicles and equipment at all times. Through compatibility with an optical fibre underground communication network, which uses intrinsically-safe equipment and keeps the data network alive during power shutdown, an access to sensor data during emergency conditions (power shutdown) is available. The software system has a risk preventive and predictive capability, ability to track people and equipment underground, and the provision of 2-way communication via the operator’s interface. The system is designed to make risk management-related data immediately available to the operator and to reduce the amount of irrelevant and unnecessary data, such as false alarms. NexsysTM has the potential to radically reshape safety in the underground coal mining industry and has the future potential to be adapted to surface coal mining, metalliferous mining and non-mining applications, where safety and decision support are critical operational characteristics.