Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), under the Ministry of Coal has introduced drone technology in coal mines by launching a web- based portal Vihangam along with a drone and ground control system. The portal allows an authorised person to access real time drone video from the mine through a dedicated 40 Mbps internet lease line near the mines.
There is a control station that flies the drone and the system can be operated through the portal from anywhere. This pilot project is at present operational at Bhubaneswari and Lingraj open cast mines of Talcher Coalfields. MCL is making use of drone technology for environmental monitoring, volume measurement and photogrammetric mapping of mine for digitalization of mining process.
Besides deploying state- of- art technology to further enhance record coal production, MCL has also stepped up the use of latest equipment to further enhance safety standards. It has recently introduced Robotic Nozzle Water Sprayer in its coal stockyard. Coal companies use Robot-assisted fire fighting and dust suppression advanced technology to carry out difficult and dangerous jobs.
The equipment can spray water up to 70 meters in the form of mist. The nozzle also termed as swivel nozzle, is installed on a water tanker of 28 kilolitres capacity. Engaged in coal mining activities in Sundergarh, Jharsuguda and Angul districts of Odisha, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) contributes more than 20 % of the total coal produced in India.