Developing a Virtual Reality Environment for Mining Research

  • Jennica L. BellancaEmail author
  • Timothy J. Orr
  • William J. Helfrich
  • Brendan Macdonald
  • Jason Navoyski
  • Brendan Demich


Recent advances in computing, rendering, and display technologies have generated increased accessibility for virtual reality (VR). VR allows the creation of dynamic, high-fidelity environments to simulate dangerous situations, test conditions, and visualize concepts. Consequently, numerous products have been developed, but many of these are limited in scope. Therefore, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health researchers developed a VR framework, called VR Mine, to rapidly create an underground mine for human data collection, simulation, visualization, and training. This paper describes the features of VR Mine using self-escape and proximity detection as case studies. Features include mine generation, simulated networks, proximity detection systems, and the integration and visualization of real-time ventilation models.


Virtual reality Mining Research design Human factors 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


The findings and conclusions in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mention of company names or products does not constitute endorsement by NIOSH.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection  2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pittsburgh Mining Research DivisionNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionPittsburghUSA

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