Wireless Sensor Networks: An Emerging Solution for Underground Mines

Wireless Sensor Networks: An Emerging Solution for Underground Mines

Alok Ranjan (Department of Mining Engineering, National Institute of Technology Rourkela, Rourkela, India), H. B. Sahu (Department of Mining Engineering, National Institute of Technology Rourkela, Rourkela, India) and Prasant Misra (TCS Research & Innovation, TATA Consultancy Services Ltd., Bangalore, India)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/IJAEC.2016100101
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Abstract

With continuous advancements in sensor technology, wireless communications, modern network architectures and electronics; it is now feasible to fulfill the requirements of underground mines using wireless sensor network (WSN). At present, coal mining industries have the option of choosing a communication and tracking systems based on their requirement and budget. WSN has the advantage of support for wireless architecture which may fit for mining industries. There is limited literature available, which discuss the different features and associated challenges to WSNs in underground mines. However, in this paper, WSN has been targeted as a feasible solution for the underground mining industries, and emphasis has been given on integration of comprehensive concepts. The objective of this survey paper is to present a platform such that it is not only beneficial for beginners who want to pursue research in this area, but also target current researchers developing solutions for such confined and hostile environments. Furthermore, the application of WSN for underground mines has been categorized followed by real, and simulation-based studies and the significant implications for wireless communications and monitoring systems in the underground mines have been discussed in details.
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1. Introduction

In past one decade, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have motivated and attracted researchers worldwide not only for the emerging application possibilities, but also due to the unique characteristics of WSN. WSNs are resource constrained platforms having the small form factor of size, memory, power and processing capabilities (Yick et al., 2008). The major application areas of WSNs includes environmental monitoring, disaster relief operation, military application, health monitoring, seismic sensing and hazardous area monitoring (Castillo-Effer et al., 2004; Lorincz et al., 2004; Simon et al., 2004; Yick et al., 2005; Gao et al., 2006; Werner-Allen et al., 2006; Sydänheimo et al., 2000).

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