Radiation cables adaptable for challenging mining environments

Radiation communication cables must overcome a number of challenges when used in mining applications.

Radio Frequency Systems has released the RADI AFLEX cables, which are specifically designed for telecommunication tasks in underground mining applica tions.

The company says these foam low-loss dielectric cables feature a robust mechanical performance, a flexible struc ture and strong electrical char acteristics.

The cables can be used in Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) systems to provide seamless coverage and broadband data transfers in mining environ ments.

“The cables support one- and two-way communication over an UHF range from 30 to 6000 MHz,” the company said.

“UHF communication can transmit voice, data and video and is much quieter and less susceptible to underground noise than Very High Frequency (VHF) systems.”

Safety considerations

As a result of the presence of flammable gases like methane, all electrical equipment in mining installations must be certified as ‘intrinsically safe’ to ensure they do not ignite a fire or explosion.

This means the cables must have a relatively low voltage and current, which limits the amount of power that can be pumped through.

However, according to the manufacturer, the RADIA FLEX has been engineered to overcome this by maintain ing the signal strength in cable runs of up to 400 m long.

The company said this means the number of in-line amplifiers can be minimised, which ultimately reduces costs.

The cables are also able to resist dust, moisture and humidity and come with flame retardant jackets.

Rocky installation

The rugged nature of mine environments also presents unique challenges when in stalling cables.

The environment will con stantly change as material is removed, meaning the commu nication infrastructure must be realigned accordingly.

According to the manu facturer, the cable’s manoeuvr ability means it can adapt as the mine’s layout changes.

“This cable can be de ployed in complex layouts, negotiating tight corners and unconventional distribution paths,” the company said.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.