The company stated that the WSN sets a very real benchmark for IoT in mining by utilising the latest in wireless meshing technology to optimise communication and safety systems in hazardous mine environments.
As the need for accurate, real-time information drives the global mining industry toward unprecedented productivity and safety levels, the WSN makes IoT for underground mining a reality by creating self-forming mesh networks to reliably deliver data from remote sensors underground. These networks wirelessly connect sensors in hazardous and dynamic parts of the mine to the main mine data backbone, effectively delivering crucial data in real-time from areas where fixed cables or manual data gathering is difficult or dangerous.
The WSN enables connectivity to all parts of the mine, and extends the benefits of a mine’s existing, high bandwidth network (such as the IMPACT Wi-Fi system). The use of 802.15.4 protocol ensures the open architecture WSN leverages the current network with stable meshing and low power consumption, to transmit data from Geotech and other instruments in a simple, efficient and reliable manner.
The WSN is comprised of two main components: the Remote Telemetry Unit (RTU) and the Gateway. The RTUs create their own wireless mesh network via the 802.1 5.4 radios. Designed for secure installation, they easily fit around rock bolts and Geotech instruments.
Additionally, the fully self-contained battery both powers itself and the external instruments. The Gateway is the interface between the wireless mesh network for med by the RTUs and the fixed mine network. Robust and high IP rated, the Gateway is simply powered and connected via a PoE port at the fixed AP (such as the IMPACT NS50).
The WSN, formed by the RTU and Gateway units, extends a mine’s existing Wi-Fi network through the provision of robust, meshed networks that enable reliable data delivery from every part of the mine. A turnkey solution, from instrument sampling through to data handover, the company stated that the MST WSN is a perfect example of how to bring IoT out of theory and into active mining environments.