Strata Worldwide’s networks build from what you have, to bridge the gap to what you need.
The use of real-time data in underground mining has moved beyond a “nice to have” and is now an essential part of operations looking to drive productivity and promote maximum health and safety of its workers.
As the reliance on data and real-time information has soared, the ability to transfer this data across the entire mining environment, in real-time, has become a large focal point in modern-day mining. Infrastructure creation, expansion and on-going maintenance play a significant role in day-to-day operations.
Remote monitoring, control and command
Being able to monitor underground environments in real time, and receive early warning alerts of potential danger, has now become fundamental to any operation.
Whether it is monitoring the atmosphere for the presence of dangerous gasses, measuring air flow for adequate ventilation, or evaluating the concentration of harmful dust particulates, real-time monitoring is vital for ensuring that operators stay ahead of potential problems.
Today, we can also go a step further and deliver this data to the surface as it happens. This not only helps to eliminate time consuming and laborious in-person inspections, but also ensures proactive, continuous monitoring coverage in all locations.
Add then the capability to remotely control underground devices and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) on systems, and the mine can operate highly efficiently and with increased safety.
There are different options in voice communication today. Leaky feeder radio remains one of the most popular choices, and wireless access for Voice-over-IP and cellular calling have become very real options with fibre optics.
The use of Wi-Fi and cellular access points along fibre, however, can be restrictive in placement locations. The pre-set cable lengths and technical involvement of tapping into fibre, dictates the placement location of access points. Areas of the mine, such as the “last-mile” working section, or isolated/remote areas will often be lacking in access to digital voice.
Introducing StrataConnect DigitalBRIDGE and DigitalBRIDGE Plus, two new and innovative solutions powered by RFI Technology Solutions.
These systems help to overcome many of the constraints typically experienced with traditional networks, and offer low cost, user friendly means to expand, enhance, repair, or even replace them.
The technology combines the strengths and user benefits of the mines’ existing infrastructures and brings them together into a single, multi-functional, easy to install system.
They also provide the unique advantage of carrying DC power for powering components and end-point devices in the single cable, which significantly reduces time and cost overheads.
The primary function of these systems is to create a highly versatile, high-speed digital network for the inclusion and powering of mine-preferred Ethernet devices. These can include wireless access points for Wi-Fi voice communications and high-speed data, video surveillance, instrumental telemetry, gas detection, RFID tracking and more.
Bridging the gap to emergency refuge
Both DigitalBRIDGE and DigitalBRIDGE Plus can be used to extend the mine’s existing network to connect to underground emergency refuge shelters. This facilitates remote routine surveillance and maintenance, and ensures the shelter remains operationally ready.
In the event of an emergency where workers need to retreat into the shelter, this connectivity opens a lifeline of communications to the surface and to rescue teams. It provides the ability to actively monitor the integrity of the enclosed environment and select operating status of chamber systems.