The mines of the future will integrate advanced technologies such as 5G, but also drones or virtual reality. A European project is currently working on this development, which should increase safety in mines while being more respectful of the environment.
Future mines will be high-tech
Enhancing safety and reducing environmental impact is the goal of the European Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems (SIMS) project. It is about adapting the latest technologies to the mining sector. In other words, the goal is to allow the movement of drones and autonomous vehicles through the 5G. The European Union is particularly attentive to progress in this area, as the need to find new sources of minerals is being felt.
For example, the SIMS project plans to send drones to potentially dangerous locations in order to avoid mobilizing men. Drones could also collect visual information very quickly, as well as data about the type of rock as well as the stability of the vault. As for the use of autonomous electric vehicles rather than diesel vehicles, this would limit greenhouse gas emissions.
5G, the backbone of the project
With the Ericsson brand and the Luleå University of Technology (Sweden) as partners, the SIMS project puts 5G at the center of everything. This connection, which should be provided by dedicated transmitters, will allow vehicles and other drones to move. In short, all electronic equipment dedicated to working in the mine should be supported by 5G.
In addition, the performance of the 5G is exceptional and will allow real-time information exchange with minimal latency (1 millisecond). The 5G promises, in particular, a rate of up to 10 Gbps and 100 times more connected objects per coverage area compared to the 4 G LTE.
Finally, let’s talk about virtual reality. This technology has been incorporated into the development of a simulator designed to familiarize with the vision of the future mine. It’s about both educating and coaching staff.