Challenges and Viability of Use of PLC for Personal Communication in Underground Coal Mines

Article Type

Research Article

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IETE Technical Review (Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers, India)


Personal communication methods in underground coal mines are far less sophisticated and efficient than surface level communication techniques. This deficiency can be attributed to the generally unfavourable and hazardous environment prevailing underground which acts as a deterring factor for their development. However, effective and reliable communication between underground coal mines and the control room on the surface is essential for safety and emergency rescue operations. Wireless communication is not a viable alternative because of the high attenuation profile as well as variation in the propagation path through uneven structures of underground coal mines and inflammable gases and moisture generally present there. Hence, wired personal communications using an existing structure such as power lines forms a very efficient and economical approach. This paper investigates the developments of communication in underground coal mines in India and presents an overview of the power line communication (PLC) technology. The possible use of PLC especially for deployment in underground coal mines in India is discussed in detail.

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