Data Communication in Underground Coal Mining

Wi-Fi Access Point in Underground Coal Mine

Wi-Fi Access Point in Underground Coal Mine

In underground coal mining, data communication infrastructure has often been implemented in an adhoc way as data requirements grew, resulting in disparate and legacy data networks that are difficult to manage and maintain. Over the last 15 years MST identified the general industry trends in consolidating to an IP based network and so developed solutions for underground mines to gain the benefits this convergence of technologies offers.

The result is our Wi-Fi / IP based IMPACT Network and associated applications to provide a reliable, mobile and high performance data communications structure that withstands the hostile underground mine environment.


MST’s WLAN underground mine network  is a Wi-Fi based, Intrinsically Safe (I.S.) certified mine communication system for use in underground coal mines around the world; being IS certified by IEC Ex ia Zone 0, MSHA, Pennsylvania, ATEX M1 Ex ia, MA, IC, Rostekhnadzor & GOST, DGMS and IA. The solutions are based on rugged fibre optic, wired and wireless IP networks. We offer unique power and fibre distribution concepts and systems architectures to meet the specific requirements of underground coal mining.

MST’s ImPact mine communication system is a high bandwidth, network to support the large data requirements of modern nines, in a single IEEE 802.11 compliant backbone.  This open connectivity allows data hungry applications such as video, RFID Tracking, remote control and mine automation systems to be supported.

Our design focussed on the ability of our infrastructure to be quickly and simply deployed, and maintained by non-expert personnel.  Our systems are particularly well recognised for their ability to automatically self-configure new installations or replacement equipment.

This is best represented by a core component of the network, our NS40 Wireless Network Switch (pictured above).  The NS40 brings together two Wi-Fi Access Point radios and four fibre optic switches into a single, small housing that operates from 15 volts DC.  Traditionally this type of flexibility and switching power would have required several devices installed in a large cabinet fed by a 110 volt or 240 volt AC supply, which is totally impractical for use in the underground mine environment.

See below for more on Data Communication solutions or contact us for more information.


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