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The work presented in this paper is useful to any application involving a trolley-powered vehicle; however, it is of interest, in particular, to trolley-powered haul trucks operated at open pit mining sites. The paper presents a designed and developed prototype for an automatic guidance system for an overhead electric-powered truck. The main purpose of the automatic guidance system is to maintain the truck inline under the overhead power lines, allowing it to achieve higher speeds on grade. In an open pit mine with a trolley operation, this would be an added feature to the direct trolley and diesel boost application. The automatic guidance system would assist or completely relieve the driver when the truck is running on trolley, and hence, full utilization of the overhead trolley system would be achieved. The microcontroller-based guidance system measures simple quantities directly from the overhead power lines, and sends commands to guide the vehicle without the need for tracks or buried wires. The system is tested and validated on a model truck powered by overhead lines, which is designed and built to emulate the real haul truck of mining sites.
Date of Conference: 4-8 Oct. 2009