Formation Choke

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Postby SpeleoRover » Dec 27, 2007 11:14 pm

A local high-school science club was developing a remote control cave rover for rescue apps. That'd be cool.

They had MIT startup grant money, too. I think it will be on line soon.
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Postby FiddleCaver » Dec 28, 2007 12:40 am

About a year ago, realms from this forum said something about a vehicle they were building for checking leads and so forth.
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Dec 28, 2007 3:43 pm

SpeleoRover wrote:A local high-school science club was developing a remote control cave rover for rescue apps. That'd be cool.

They had MIT startup grant money, too. I think it will be on line soon.

Well now wait a minnit. Providing they come up with a mini-rover as a means of searching the too-tights for potential victims... uhh... if they find one... then what? The passage was too tight for humans... but not for the rover... so it means basically digging?
For mine rescues I can see the applications... to check for survivors and all that...
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Postby SpeleoRover » Dec 28, 2007 8:41 pm

They were developing a mini-rover with GPS triangulation capabilities through links to surface base stations.

I was just thinking that a mini-rover of any kind would be cool to look into tight spots and mapping them, not looking for humans where humans can't go. :kewl:
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Postby wyandottecaver » Dec 28, 2007 9:11 pm

maybe one of those bomb disposal units with a few sticks of dynamite on the end... :)
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Postby Stridergdm » Dec 29, 2007 12:53 am

SpeleoRover wrote:They were developing a mini-rover with GPS triangulation capabilities through links to surface base stations.


I've got to admit I'm dubious as to how GPS would fit in with this as far as the rover goes. I can see surface stations having GPS and using some sort of triangulation from those, but even that seems far-fetched given how well radio waves don't tend to penetrate. ;-)

Still could be interesting
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re: Format Choke

Postby SpeleoRover » Dec 29, 2007 10:27 am

Stridergdm wrote:I've got to admit I'm dubious as to how GPS would fit in with this as far as the rover goes. I can see surface stations having GPS and using some sort of triangulation from those, but even that seems far-fetched given how well radio waves don't tend to penetrate. ;-)

Still could be interesting


That is the gist of my conversation with their teacher. My understanding is that the surface units had GPS and the rover triangulated its own position. Radio wave travel through soil and bedrock would indeed be the issue. I should give them a call and see if the project ever got anywhere. They were constructing the rover unit last time I talked to them - several months ago.
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Re: Formation Choke

Postby BrianFrank » Apr 12, 2016 1:54 pm

Not trying to re-hash this subject. But....

I would break just enough formations to get through to virgin passage under the following conditions:
- The cave was fully explored, all passages exhausted except for this location.
- Cave owner permission.
- There was some evidence ahead of me that the cave continued. Air flow or not.
- The way forward was not blocked from a rare animal skeleton or from ancient animal tracks. In this case, I want to bring in experts and not move or damage a thing, no matter what. Let the experts decide at that point.

My thinking on this (the reason I seem to be more liberal) is because if I found this passage, someone else will find it and they may not be as careful as I will be in only breaking the formations necessary to carefully continue onward. I know I will do the least minimal damage. I know some of the hacks out there who could care less and I think they far outnumber those of us who want to conserve cave formations.
Last edited by BrianFrank on Apr 18, 2016 11:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Formation Choke

Postby tncaver » Apr 12, 2016 3:39 pm

If cavers can't fit in there, then why send a small robot in to look for lost cavers? If they can't fit they won't be there.
A robot or drone would be good for checking leads though. :big grin:

A friend used a camera on a pole to check a small lead one time. Still couldn't tell much because there was nothing
for scale to know how big the passage ahead was. Mostly it just looked like a bunch of rocks. Without something
for scale, it is very difficult to tell how big a passage is. Of course if there were blackness it would work. But if
there were blackness, yelling would probably indicate a big passage. Yelling into a big void usually makes an
impressive echo sound underground.
Sorry, but sometimes logic and common sense really do explain a lot. :laughing:
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Re: Formation Choke

Postby GroundquestMSA » Apr 12, 2016 7:22 pm

BrianFrank wrote:I would break just enough formations to get through to virgin passage under the following conditions:
- The cave was fully explored, all passages exhausted except for this location.
- Cave owner permission.


Your first point is a good one to remember. I wouldn't apply it to the entire cave, (depending on the size of the cave) but it is good to make sure leads in a common area are exhausted before breaking things. I recently worked for a few hours in Virginia to dig out a clay floor. I got through into big walking passage and was happy until I realized that there was a second connection that wouldn't have needed any digging.

Cave owner permission. Depends. Breaking formations is possibly more graphic, especially if done carelessly, but we damage the cave in many routine ways without the owner's specific consent.

I've busted several formations. I think that one of the most respectful things to do is to photograph anything attractive if demolition is necessary or if routine damage is likely to occur. I believe that, more important than surveying, virgin cave should be well-photographed during the initial exploration.
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Re: Formation Choke

Postby BrianFrank » Apr 12, 2016 7:44 pm

I like your last point about photographing the formation!
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