Wireless connectivity underground
Providing reliable voice and data communications that is flexible and durable enough for underground mining operations has been a labyrinth of issues until now.
The optimal solution would be a hybrid connector-cable carrying both fibre optic communications as well as power. Fortunately, advanced connection technology today makes it simple and economical to couple fibre optic networking with an integral power source for truly flexible wireless access.
Advanced and reliable network communications will be required by law in underground mines in the United States within the next few years, according to the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006. “The mandate of the Act has energized MST to develop a wireless system that would fulfill that safety mandate and much more,” says Will Gove, general manager for Canadian operations of Mine Site Technologies (MST), headquartered in Sydney, Australia. “Looking for a provider of that technology led us to Applied Optical Systems, which designs and manufactures fibre optic connectors and terminals for harsh and rugged environments.
“The underground mining environment is usually either wet or dusty, and you often have equipment running into or over cables and connectors,” says Gove. “All of that spells ‘maintenance’, which you don’t have with AOS’s F-Link series of fibre connector systems, which includes hybrid versions. They are waterproof, dustproof and very durable. And they don’t require a specialist for installation or moving, which could add up to major savings.”
For more information, visit www.appliedopticalsystems.com.