sr. Geologist proposed an AI-powered tunneling machine that promotes mechanized tunneling

Mr Ramana Reddy, Sr. Geologist, said this latest technology takes advantage of laser beam technologies not yet fully exploited in the construction industry by improving tunnel performance under tight conditions. This technology solves common problems encountered when excavating tunnels. Some of the problems include tunnel collapse, slow progress in cutting out hard rock and risks of subsurface destabilization, which will become dangerous over time. The main focus is on developing a technology that minimizes digging vibrations while improving the efficiency of the digging process. Tunnel construction in small spaces is a major challenge because of the difficulties in generating accurate predictions during the construction process. It is not easy to foresee such situations during excavations, even after extracting specific geological formations and gaining expertise with the challenges experienced. Rock heterogeneity and fluctuations in mechanical and hydraulic parameters can cause sudden variations in tensile forces.

sr. Geologist said his invention uses lasers to cut underlying soil and rocks into tunnel designs. This technique requires 80 gigawatts of laser power. He added a high-energy laser beam to the primary head of the machine to control the heat and firepower. It can pulverize 3.6 cubic meters of soil every hour, enough for a large tunnel. The machine needs a large amount of gas, mainly carbon dioxide. Very high levels of the CO2 concentration will regulate the laser mechanism. This gas cleans the laser optics and extinguishes the flames. As it cuts stone, the laser heads can move closer together. AI learns laser head movements at precise distances and frequencies.

Fig i: A prototype of the proposed tunnel machine
Fig i: A prototype of the proposed tunnel machine

Mr. Ramana said that this invention will help speed up and improve underground structures. It reduces underground collapse threats and rock instability. This technique will also reduce construction personnel and infrastructure costs. Using this system, he will be the first person to successfully develop laser beam tunnel technology. Most tunnel construction uses drilling machines; hence this approach has never been used. His idea will reduce underground vibrations, improving the safety of surface structures.

Geologist suggested that this new technique builds on the widespread use of AI in civil engineering. Automation and AI are forcing the construction industry to adopt standards that simplify, accelerate and unify the assessment of elements. By implementing this technology, US infrastructure projects will increase, which will benefit the US economy. As the number of completed projects grows, more and more contractors and consultants in the United States are placing high expectations on a recent technological advancement involving high-energy laser beams. This is because the invention offers a workable alternative that has the potential to meet the growing needs of the infrastructure sector. Large tunnels present logistical and design challenges. This system improves the efficiency and accuracy of tunnel boring machines by using AI. This innovative civil engineering technique can save time and money. Urbanization has boosted underground construction, creating emerging economic and financing challenges in the construction industry. This revolutionary technique reduces construction time and direct labour, while improving quality at the same time. The use of this advanced technology contributes to a significant reduction in work intensity and a reduction in human output and labor demand.

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