Technology

Communication is just the beginning

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Their proprietary wireless communications and tracking system, CommTrac, has successfully been operating in underground mines in the United States for over half a decade, providing quality communication, personnel tracking and equipment tracking. CommTrac is 100% wireless through-out the mine and to the surface.

Completely untethered communication nodes are suspended from the mine roof where they automatically communicate with all other nodes within range. This creates a wireless, mesh-like network that ensures redundancy. Miners carry small, rechargeable tracking and communication devices which send and receive data over the mesh network to the surface. Since all components are battery powered, CommTrac remains completely independent of other mine systems and fully operational in mine emergencies.

The tracking function is more advanced than alternative systems. Unlike zonal tracking with RFID tags, for instance, Strata’s GPS-like tracking triangulates miner or machinery location to within 15m, with 100% coverage in all working sections. Location is plotted on a digital mine map at the surface, including direction of travel.

Going beyond communication and tracking

The flexibility of CommTrac enables the technology to integrate into other electrical devices such as gas detection sensors, belt drive monitoring systems, and even the Strata’s HazardAvert proximity detection system. By integrating it into these devices, mine operators can wirelessly retrieve and manage data from the devices, as it happens.

For atmospheric monitoring, Strata Worldwide and Trolex together combined Trolex’ innovative gas detection systems with Strata’s wireless communication and battery-power technologies. Through this partnership, Strata offer an intrinsically safe, completely wireless atmospheric monitoring system that can be fully operational within hours.

Mines utilising Strata’s HazardAvert proximity detection system can readily benefit from the productivity and safety data collected by the PDS system. All activities and interactions recorded and logged, can be streamed to the surface during mining operations. Mine operators can track location and activities to measure mining productivity, perform safety evaluations and create incident reports as needed.

Voice

Most recently, Strata merged CommTrac with the latest in Wi-Fi technologies to offer a multifunctional underground communications and monitoring system that provides mines with VoIP calling, high-speed data access, two-way texting, personnel and equipment tracking, atmospheric monitoring and HazardAvert proximity detection data retrieval all in one single system solution.

StrataConnect access points create underground ‘hot-spots’ that function much like ‘hot spots’ above ground. All standard IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi-enabled devices operate on its network, bringing the same digital connectivity from above ground to underground environments.

“StrataConnect takes the proven reliability of Strata CommTrac and the high-bandwidth capabilities of Wi-Fi and combines them into one multipurpose wireless solution,” states Mike Berube, president and CEO of Strata Worldwide. “The system is highly versatile and supports limitless peripherals for limitless applications.”

Media release

 

PULL QUOTE: "GPS-like tracking triangulates miner or machinery location to within 15m, with 100% coverage in all working sections."

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