Underground Mining Network Design

Redline can provide much-needed assistance to any underground mining operation in order to ensure a certified design for the deployment of a high performance communications network.

Digital transformation is coming to the mining industry. Is your jobsite infrastructure optimally designed for next generation networks?

Like many industrial sectors, underground mining is going through a massive digital transformation. This ensures significantly better ways to guarantee worker safety, efficiency, productivity and connectivity. New dispatch systems, new Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) systems, the use of drones and other new mining technology that rely on ‘always-on’ mobile communications will all be introduced and installed in underground mines globally in the coming years.

Underground mining operations around the world are undertaking digital mine transformation by implementing applications, such as real-time video, voice, sensors, autonomous vehicles, VR/AR (Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality) applications and IoT devices, along with other future applications that require a robust, expertly engineered communication network.
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The Challenge

Underground mines are in the business of mining, not communications networks. Your focus is on aspects like increasing production output, enhancing employee safety, and reducing equipment downtime. A supporting communications network is an operational feature of the mine and not (typically) a top-of-mind concern for mining leadership teams. How can underground mining teams focus on their priorities while also attempting to optimize the benefits of engineering a robust communications infrastructure? After all, underground mining operations have in-house IT departments, but are often not staffed for full commercial network operations. Engineering and designing a custom communication network is beyond the core competency of an underground mining operation. Mining organizations need partners that can provide straightforward solutions for state-of-the-art networks that can support digital transformation.

The Redline Solution:

Underground Mining Network Design

Redline offers a comprehensive methodology and a suite of engineering and design services to assist and complement our partners in the underground mining industry with complex mining network design.Redline helps its partners simplify the network planning process to optimize for the aspects that matter most: coverage, reliability, low latency, and high bandwidth. Count on our expert team to work with you every step of the way.

Project Assessment & Analysis

Redline complements partners’ resources as an extension to their project management team. The Redline consulting and technical resource team can provide a variety of services including: assessing customer requirements, developing and reviewing a project plan, a “blueprint” for the success of any network deployment, determining preferred network architectures, and identifying solutions for planned applications. Redline can facilitate the project planning and identify critical processes, including:

Front-End Engineering & Design (FEED)

A critical first step, the FEED process is a review of the planned network. This step ensures that key parameters, such as applications and expected capacity, are understood and agreed to prior to commencing the detailed design.Radio frequency (RF) coverage and analysis is a key initial FEED activity. The Redline detailed RF plan is considered “construction grade” as it provides antenna and radio equipment installation design details. This approach ensures the deployment is completed correctly and delivers high availability, coverage and stable performance for subscribers, while minimizing the total number of base station sites required for the system. The detailed plan includes site selection via Google Earth KMZ coverage/best server predictions, RF plan and frequency re-use recommendations, capacity analysis and product selection along with the licensed or unlicensed backhaul design and individual link profiles.

Although the need for mining connectivity is high, underground deployments are one of the most challenging situations for a communications network. Ramps, declines, stopes, and drift layout can all limit throughput. Not only that, but the task becomes more difficult with ever-deepening mines. Around the world, mines are getting deeper and there are constant challenges of ongoing communications to assess stress damage, squeezing ground and rock bursts. Mining methods and support systems have evolved slowly to improve the management of excavation damage and safety of personnel, but damage still occurs, and personnel still get injured.

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RedCare is Redline’s portfolio of warranty, protection and support plans and is available with each of our offerings, designed to safeguard service continuity for Redline solutions and give our customers the peace of mind knowing your Redline products are being kept at optimal performance.

IoT in mining safety can provide comprehensive situational awareness with full visibility of people, assets and infrastructure. However, mining companies must first overcome the challenge of obtaining reliable, high bandwidth connectivity for collecting, transferring, and analyzing data.