Proceedings PaperFibre Optics In Coal Mining
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Coal mines have a number of unique problems which affect the use of fibre optic technology. These include a potentially explosive atmosphere due to the evolution of methane from coal, and a dirty environment with no cleaning facilities readily available. Equipment being developed by MRDE to allow the exploitation of optical fibres underground includes: A hybrid electrical/fibre optic connector for the flexible power trailing cable of the coal-face shearer; An Intrinsically Safe (IS) pulsed laser transmitter using Frequency Shift Key (FSK) data modulation; An IS Avalanche Photo Diode Receiver suitable for pulsed & continuous wave optical signals; A mine shaft and roadway cable/ connector system incorporating low loss butt-splices and preterminated demountable connectors.