Fully mobile underground mine connectivity at AIMEX


Friday, 26 July, 2019


Fully mobile underground mine connectivity at AIMEX

Underground mines and tunnels are some of the most challenging environments in which to deploy network systems. Connectivity and throughput demands are high, but spiralling designs, stopes and mine depth place limitations on how far wireless signals can travel. Many mines, therefore, depend on fibre-optic networks to achieve reliable underground communications, but ceiling-mounted installation is costly and can create maintenance nightmares. It is not uncommon for trucks to accidentally catch and rip down sections of fibre, and when that happens, connectivity across the entire underground mine is lost.

A strategic partnership between Rajant, Poynting, Extronics and Australian Droid + Robot promises to overcome the issues of mobile connectivity underground.

Rajant’s Kinetic Mesh technology is claimed to provide a robust alternative to fibre and traditional single radio wireless systems using its multiradio, multifrequency BreadCrumb nodes and InstaMesh networking software. The nodes, combined with Poynting’s wideband, bidirectional antenna system, create a complete underground and tunnel-wide wireless network for mission-critical data, video and voice communications.

Meanwhile, Extronics’ rugged and intrinsically safe AeroScout Wi-Fi-based active RFID tags for personnel and asset tracking operate in real time over Rajant’s network. Tracking is highly accurate to location and can be used to identify productivity bottlenecks for improved operational efficiency.

Australian Droid + Robot’s Explora droid has onboard Rajant BreadCrumb technology for underground inspections. With the mining industry facing increased, stringent safety and productivity mandates, they look to leverage bandwidth-intensive autonomous systems and applications. Rajant’s Kinetic Mesh technology maintains uninterrupted high throughput and low latency to overcome any interference, enabling the drone machine to independently scan, sense and explore where is hazardous to miners.

Rajant and partners will be exhibiting their technology at Booth E131 at AIMEX, which takes place at The Sydney Showground, Sydney, 27–29 August. Joining Rajant, Poynting, Extronics and Australian Droid + Robot will be Madison Technologies, a manufacturer and distributor of technology infrastructure and hardware across cabling, networking, wireless and audiovisual disciplines for Australia and New Zealand.

Image: ©stock.adobe.com/au/TTstudio

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