To require the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish an initiative to promote the research, development, and demonstration of miner tracking and communications systems and to promote the establishment of standards and other measurement services regarding underground communications to protect miners in the United States.

10/29/2007--Passed House amended.    (There are 2 other summaries)

Mine Communications Technology Innovation Act - Requires the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish a program of research, development, and demonstration, including the establishment of best practices, adaptation of existing technology, and efforts to accelerate the development of next generation technology and tracking systems for mine communications.

Requires the Director to evaluate areas of research and development and best practices that will be most promising in protecting miner safety.

Authorizes the Director, in establishing the program, to focus on the following communications and tracking system characteristics: (1) systems that are likely to work in emergency situations; (2) systems that work in coal mines, with special attention paid to deep underground coal mines; (3) systems that provide coverage throughout all areas of the mine; (4) hybrid systems that use both wireless and infrastructure-based systems; (5) functionality for two-way andvoice communications; (6) systems that serve emergency and routine communications needs; (7) the ability to work with existing legacy systems and to be quickly integrated; and (8) propagation environment characterization, performance metrics, and independently derived validation tests to verify performance for standards development.

Requires the Director to: (1) work with industry and federal agencies to develop consensus industry standards for communications in underground mines; and (2) develop and provide any needed measurement services to support implementation of these standards. Urges that the following issues be addressed: (1) the appropriate use of frequency bands and power levels; (2) matters related to interoperability; and (3) technology to prevent interference.

Authorizes appropriations for carrying out this Act for FY2009-FY2010, to be derived from amounts authorized under the America COMPETES Act.

View comments | (Close Window)