Tunnel communications in mining sites are critical for the safety of workers and the efficiency of operations. Tunnel communication systems allow workers to communicate with each other and the surface, enabling managers to monitor operations.
Tunnel communications systems are necessary because traditional methods of communication, such as satellites and GPS, cannot be used in tunnels. Satellites cannot penetrate the walls of a tunnel, and the tunnel walls block GPS signals.
Tunnel communications systems use a variety of technologies to deliver quality communications. Radio waves are the most common type of communication used in tunnels, but other methods, such as optical fibers and infrasound, are also used.
Radio waves are able to penetrate the walls of a tunnel and provide clear reception for workers. However, radio waves can be blocked by metal objects, such as train cars, and they can interfere with other radio signals.
Optical fibers are another type of communication used in tunnels. Optical fibers are able to transmit signals with very little loss, but they are expensive to install and maintain.
Infrasound is a type of sound that is below the range of human hearing. Infrasound can penetrate the walls of a tunnel and provide clear reception for workers. However, infrasound can be blocked by metal objects, such as train cars.
Tried and tested solutions for many tunnel environments are leaky feeder systems. These can be easy to install and expand upon, and they allow for easy voice and data communications in even the most challenging environments.
Tunnel communications systems are necessary to deliver quality communications for workers throughout any mining site. If you would like to learn more about wireless communications in tunnels, please contact our team of experts. We are here to help with your tunnel communications needs.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Communications! For over 15 years, Becker Communications has been the industry’s leader in Tunnel communication system and electrical mining communication systems. As they expanded into surface mining, railroads, and tunneling they added wireless communication systems, handheld radios, tagging and tracking systems, as well as gas monitoring.