Publications / 2014 Proceedings of the 31st ISARC, Sydney, Australia

Integrated Approach to Machine Guidance and OperationsMonitoring in Tunnel Construction

X. Shen, M. Lu, S. Mao, X. Wu
Pages 103-109 (2014 Proceedings of the 31st ISARC, Sydney, Australia, ISBN 978-0-646-59711-9, ISSN 2413-5844)

Tunnel construction method using a tunnel boring machine (TBM) is commonly adopted for building underground infrastructure, such as railways, roads, sewers, or utility pipelines. TBM tunnelling entails precise guidance of the machine in the underground space, as well as effective construction management and project control. The research aims to address critical engineering and management problems during the course of tunnel excavation, including TBM guidance, automated asbuilt data acquisition, real-time data processing and 3D visualization. In this paper, we propose an integrated TBM guidance and operations monitoring solution for tunneling applications. A robotic total station is employed to automate the continuous processes of TBM tracking and guidance inside the tunnel. Wireless sensor networks are particularly implemented for on-site data communication. The results of TBM's position state, tunnel alignment and construction progress are processed and presented in straightforward, user-friendly interfaces on the fly. Working with the City of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the integrated system has been implemented in the construction of a 2.4-meterdiameter and 1-km-long sewage tunnel project and undergone seven-month field testing in 2013. The solution lends substantial support to TBM operators and project managers in making critical decisions on a near real-time basis.

Keywords: Automation and Control, Tunnel Construction, Machine Control and Guidance, Wireless Sensor Networks, 3D Visualization, Project Management and Control