A proposed underground communication system for the near-future

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 87, No. 980, 1994

Marcel St-Amant, Technologies documentees enr., Montreal, Quebec, and Pierre Montrueil, Noranda Technology Centre, Pointe-Claire, Quebec

Within the next few years, underground mobile equipment will be partially automated. Mining methods will integrate more and more automation. Such an evolution will be possible only if adequate underground communication systems are developed. This is expected due to the available competence in Canadian telecommunication, to the economic pressure on the Canadian mining industries for international competitiveness and to the social changes where a better working environment (i.e. less accidents) becomes a major concern. CCARMpropose the concept of a Production Area Network for Automated Mobile Units called PAN AMU as an intermediate size communication system. It can be implemented using mature present-day technology and it can be integrated in some minewide communication systems. It can evolve so as to incorporate new technologies because of its modular concepts. In this paper, the communication requirements are estimated, the assumptions are defined, the concepts of the PAN AMU are presented and an overview of its implementation is described. CCARM presents this article to the mining industry as a document for discussion.