Dr. David Pearson
Dr. David E. Pearson & Associates Ltd.
4277 Houlihan Place
Victoria, British Columbia
Tel: +1250 4772548
Fax: +1250 4774775
The Automation Working Group uses programmable devices to automatically collect data on coal. Originally, these data were generated by photometers and gathered from DVM?s (digital volt meters), but now they are likely to be digital images from CCD (charge couple device) cameras. Usually, there is no attempt to identify the maceral source of the measured response, and so novel ways of interpreting reflectance profiles, using probability plots for example, have emerged.
Two laboratories have legitimized their automated devices by successfully completing the ICCP Accreditation exercise. This implies that the methods used to interpret automatically collected reflectance data, when applied to a suite of single-coal-samples of known random reflectances and group maceral contents, give results that are similar to the results of the Accredited Petrographers. In other words, automated petrographic systems can characterize coals using criteria and terminology similar to manual petrography.
Participation by Automation Working Group members using their automated devices in the analytical activities of the Blends WG has been encouraged, to not only generate unique data for that WG, but to also hone our skills in the interpretation of automated data of blend composition.