Mining operations are extremely hazardous and take place in unpredictable environments. In fact, mining operations are always in a state of change, with frequent expansions and changes to the drilling site and internal passageways.
A leading mine operator in eastern Europe decided to implement a reliable remote IP-based communication networking system for control and monitoring. The system is intended to ensure that the mine’s controller/sensor system is reliable and productive, and that the CCTV system is real-time. One of the main interests is protecting the safety of miners working in such a harsh and dangerous environment. However, as the numbers of drilling sites and internal passageways increase, more and more sensors, I/O points, and cameras need to be deployed, and consequently more networking devices and network ports need to be added, and the bandwidth of the backbone network needs to be increased.
Remote sensors, I/O points, and cameras need to be able to communicate over the network, and since the distance between devices could be hundreds of meters, or even several kilometers, you might think that fiber optic cabling is appropriate for this application. However, temperatures in the mine could get so high as to damage or even melt the fiber optic cabling, and generally speaking, the curvature of many of the tunnels is so high that it’s not practical to deploy fiber. Moreover, a remote industrial network management system that gives mining operators the ability to monitor the network’s operational status and react in an instant is needed to increase productivity and reduce the amount of time that network engineers need to spend onsite at dangerous drilling sites to check network issues. You should also be aware that because of the need for cross-site communications, layer 3 networking devices must be used. Read More