Best Practices for Satellite Communications in Mining
- Comparing VSAT options is an apples and oranges experience. Spend time defining your requirements to ensure that you’re buying the right configuration. Ensure you’re using the right frequency band (C, Ku, Ka) for your application and climate. Clarify the performance differences of shared (TDMA) or dedicated (SCPC) bandwidth.
- Spare up at the mining camp. Make sure you have equipment spares or backup options to maximize uptime and expedite repairs.
- Leverage compression, filtering and application prioritization technologies to maximize the use of your satellite bandwidth.
- Weather proof your installations. Arctic deployments or humid jungle deployments present different needs for outdoor cabling and climate control for indoor equipment. Don’t overlook the need for air conditioning, heating, power conditioning and battery backups.
- Ensure field users understand the cost structures of satellite communications. While controls can be placed on satcom technologies to prevent runaway usage, the best practice is to ensure your field users know the operational costs so that they are cognizant of the costs to the business.
- Control access to equipment. While you won’t have a data center at the mining camp, a locking rackmount enclosure will help to ensure that equipment configurations aren’t tampered with, avoiding unnecessary outages.