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Mining Contract: Sprinkler Head Emergency Communications

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.
Contract #200-2008-26293
Start Date8/5/2008
End Date8/5/2009
Research Concept

This contract will evaluate a fiber optic sprinkler head emergency communications system to determine if this concept can meet the communication, tracking, mine escape, and rescue requirements of an underground communication system. This system uses a buried fiber optic trunk communications pathway and provides communication through points along the buried trunk. Since only a small portion of the system is exposed, this would minimize damage to the overall system in the event of a mine disaster.

Topic Area

Contract Status & Impact

The contract is complete. To receive a copy of the final report, send a request to

The contractor completed assembly and lab testing of the hardware detailed in the contract. The contractor worked extensively on the power options needed to provide communication in the event that part of the system is disabled.

The system was tested to see if the remaining infrastructure would stay operational if certain parts of the system are disabled. In addition, the contractor conducted tests to see how much crushing force the cables could withstand. Buried optical fibre cable bedded with crusher dust at a depth of 0.6 m (2 ft) should survive mine vehicle traffic.

Sprinkler Head System Block Diagram