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Sociedade Brasileira de Telecomunicações

Propagation Features that Affect an Underground Mining Visible Light Communication Link


Underground mining is an industry that supplies great income for several countries worldwide. Therefore, it is necessary to provide a proper communications infrastructure to this industry. Nevertheless, as it is well known, underground mines are very hostile environments, making it difficult to implement current radio frequency (RF) communication technologies. Therefore, a practical and viable solution is given by systems based on visible light communication (VLC). This emerging technology can provide robust communication and continuous lighting in harsh environments. However, an exhaustive study of the use of VLC and its technical parameters in underground mines has not been carried out in detail. In this paper, we do an introductory study of the main physical features present in an underground mining VLC environment. We also briefly discuss certain particular physical factors that affect underground mines, such as shadowing and scattering. This analysis generates a benchmark to develop a precise analytical VLC channel model of underground mining as future work.

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