Mining Project: Coexistence and Safety of Wireless Systems in Mining
Research is needed to determine if existing regulations, standards, or guidelines developed for nonmining industrial, commercial, and medical sectors are adequate to ensure coexistence and safety of wireless systems in the mining sector or if mining-specific regulations, standards, or guidelines need to be developed.
The ability of wireless systems—e.g., voice communication, proximity detection, tele-remote operation, telemetry, etc.—to function satisfactorily (i.e., coexist) in the presence of other wireless systems is critical to the safety and health of mine workers. The failure of wireless systems to coexist could result in the delay, corruption, or outright loss of critical data, voice, or video information, potentially posing risks to miner safety. However, no known mining-sector-specific regulations, standards, or guidelines exist to ensure the safe coexistence of wireless systems.
In collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NIOSH researchers will conduct an extensive review of existing coexistence standards and guidelines as well as a review of wireless systems that are being adopted or could be adopted by the mining industry. From this information, NIST and NIOSH researchers will develop and disseminate specific guidelines and recommendations on identifying key performance metrics to evaluate wireless systems’ ability to coexist and will propose mining-sector-specific methodologies and protocols to test for wireless system coexistence. NIOSH researchers will also develop and disseminate guidelines and recommendations for mine owner/operators to develop and implement wireless plans for mine sites.
Milestones and Accomplishments
|Produce a publication outlining guidelines on the development and implementation of wireless plans for mine sites||Wireless technology innovators, mine owner/operators||2024|
|Produce a publication outlining identified key performance indicators required to evaluate wireless systems’ ability to coexist||Wireless technology innovators, mine owner/operators||2025|
|Produce a publication proposing mining-sector-specific methodologies and protocols to test for wireless system coexistence||Wireless technology innovators, mine owner/operators||2026|
Planned Impacts and Outcomes
- Wireless system technology and equipment manufacturers will adopt NIOSH guidelines and recommendations on identifying key performance metrics to evaluate wireless systems’ ability to coexist.
- Wireless system technology and equipment manufacturers will adopt NIOSH-recommended methodologies and protocols to test for coexistence.
- Mine owner/operators will adopt NIOSH guidelines and recommendations to develop and implement wireless plans for surface and underground operations.
- Above-the-Earth Field Contours for a Dipole Buried in a Homogeneous Half-Space
- The Challenge of Enforcing Safety Rules in Remote Hazardous Work Areas
- Mine Communications Engineering and Compatibility Guidelines
- Proceedings of Thru-The-Earth Electromagnetics Workshop
- Propagation of EM Signals in Underground Mines
- Technology News 497 - "You Are My Sunshine": A New Video Release From NIOSH on the Sunshine Mine Fire
- Through-The-Earth Wireless Real-Time Two-Way Voice Communications
- Underground Coal Mining Disasters and Fatalities: United States, 1900-2006
- Underground Mine Communications
- Wireless Mesh Mine Communication System