Mines and Mining Camps
Mines and Mining Camps
Mines and mining camps have a wide and varied set of requirements for networking and communications. Mines run on the ability to track vehicles and operations, with telemetry and monitoring high on the agenda.
Industrial (IoT) networking is the key element for mining and mining camps – the environment is harsh and the network has to be robust to survive in the heat and conditions.
Mining and Mining Camps: Network Overview
Mines need wide area communications, which include mesh and over wireless technologies. The industrial and processing complexes have a lot of switching requirements, often connecting to process control equipment and require low latency connections.
Mining camp networks are based around delivering services to the mine workers – this is typically television and video services, internet and voice telephony. The key component in a mine camp is “Netflix-Grade” Wi-Fi.
Reliable, performance Wi-Fi is the base requirement for camps.
Workers are onsite for extended periods, so the ability to access streaming services, video message with family and friends and access the internet help keep staff connected and entertained.
Camp Wi-Fi needs to have industrial switching typically, and fixed network and Wi-Fi access from inside the demountable rooms. IP Phones are often installed and TVs may include access to subscription channels, as well as the ability to stream services.
Many mining camps have poorly deployed wireless services, leading to high levels of frustration with a service which drops in and out and is unusable. Wi-Fi can be delivered to be reliable and “Netflix-Grade” in a mining camp.
Industrial (IoT) Networking
Apart from the factors of heat, dust and interference, Industrial networking has to be able to operate in a multitude of industrial environments.
Underground mines are a typical case in point where equipment must meet regulation to ensure it will not cause an explosion issue.
Underground mines change shape quite rapidly and mesh networking is a good technology to provide communications within tunnels, especially where automated vehicles are operating.
Industrial equipment means that it can be deployed without the typically stringent requirements of clean and air conditioned environments, allowing the equipment to be installed in the most suitable locations for mine operations.
Mesh / Vehicle Control
Control of vehicles and streaming telemetry from loader trucks and vehicles are important for minesite operations.
Cisco FluidMesh is certified for operation in completely autonomous vehicle mines due to its very low latency and make-before-break roaming algorithm.
Open cast mines change shape frequently, so the ability to be able to RF model the shape of the mine allows for the most appropriate placement of the mesh access points.
Telemetry can include truck telemetry, video from the truck cockpit, location of the truck and telemetry on other systems.