Technological Advances in Telecommunication for Mines

CIM MineSpace 2001
Robert Yewen,
Abstract As mines utilize more automation in mining operations to improve efficiency and safety, a corresponding increasing demand is placed on the transport of information. Some of the recent technological advances in underground telecommunications are described for various data, voice and video applications.

In particular, two new innovative underground communication systems are described, one with high speed data at 30 Mbps and the other for mine wide evacuation and safety applications.

The high speed data system incorporates state-of-the-art data networking technologies and the existing leaky cable narrow band radio channels. The new system provides over the same basic infrastructure the high speed data network at 30 Mbps TCP/IP Ethernet with 100 Base-T interconnection, which represents a 100+ higher system throughput when compared with the existing system.

The second system is a system for mine wide evacuation with "through the earth" communication infrastructure. Emergency situation can be communicated to and from all the miners within seconds through a central control location. The technology involved does not require leaky cable or any other similar transmission media installation. Many applications are possible, including warning miners of emergency situations, mine rescue operation to communicate with trapped miners, regular reporting from miners working alone.
Keywords: Radio, Communication, Data, Network, Leaky Cable, Productivity, Evacuation, Safety
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