Technology is always changing in mining, and one of the greatest places that it has changed recently is communication. Voice and data sharing in hostile environments such as an underground mine are getting easier, and that is thanks to innovation.
In the past, sharing information in real-time was a challenge in subterranean environments. Data and voice signals would be interrupted or lost entirely due to rock interference. This made communication between miners and surface personnel difficult, if not impossible, at times.
Now, however, there are new technologies that have been developed specifically for use in subterranean environments. The introduction of expandable leaky feeder systems, for example, has made it possible to have a reliable and clear voice and data connection even in the most hostile of environments.
From leaky feeder cables, we are also seeing an increase in wifi and LTE networks using antenna technology throughout mining sites. By installing repeaters and antennas throughout a mine, miners can have access to real-time data and voice no matter where they are.
Deployable cables, as well as emergency nodes and receivers, are changing the way we respond to emergencies as well. This technology is making it possible to have a clear and reliable connection even in the most difficult circumstances.
Through the earth, radio technology is also useful for emergencies and direct communication during maintenance. These safe signals are often used as backups or tripping for detonation when deeper areas of the mine are not outfitted with network cabling.
Innovations such as this are making it possible for miners to stay better connected than ever before. With clearer communication comes increased safety, as well as greater efficiency and productivity. It is thanks to these innovations that mining is becoming a safer and more efficient industry. To learn more about how technology is changing the mining industry, contact your local mining company or research institution today.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Communications! For over 15 years, Becker Communications has been the industry’s leader in mining radio communication systems and electrical mining communication systems. As they expanded into surface mining, railroads, and tunneling they added wireless communication systems, handheld radios, tagging and tracking systems, as well as gas monitoring.