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January 1, 2022
Outdoor / Indoor Wireless
An underground mining site located in Brazil presents significant challenges to the successful deployment of a wireless network. Establishing a network is particularly important on the active stope, where connectivity and throughput demands are high, and no wired infrastructure currently exists. A lack of infrastructure throughout the mine levels, limited access to power, and a lack of Ethernet on all levels further limits wireless connectivity.
The Challenge A system of extensive tunnels – 160 kilometers of tunnels underground in total – comprises the mine. Communications across the majority of the site are conducted via a two-way voice radio system; there are no IP or data radios to direct communication out of the tunnels. Additionally, the mine is made up of multiple levels, each connected to its neighbor by spiraling ramps. This tight spiral design limits the distance wireless communications can travel.
The Results Ron White, CTO at 3D-P, tested five solutions, with Rajant and three other vendors offering mesh technology. The remaining product was not a mesh solution. In order to test the impact of the spiral design, White created two test environments. He conducted the first onsite at the mine. In this test, he set up an infrastructure radio at one end and tested it against different radios and antennas, monitoring signal strength and throughput, and then continued around the spiral to measure how far he could get without the signal faltering. In this test, as expected, the signal dropped quickly when line-of-sight was lost.
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Identifying early the need for private network infrastructure that could effectively support fully mobile wireless communications in industrial settings, Rajant Corporation developed its patented Kinetic Mesh® technology—and in turn became the pioneer provider of the most adaptable, scalable, and readily deployed fully mobile network on the market today.
Rajant was established in October 2001, after founders Robert Schena and Paul Hellhake recognized the significant shortcomings in traditional wireless mesh technology, particularly when it came to mobile voice and data networks used by first responders. The Rajant team envisioned a new, more robust mesh technology that would allow these networks to be fully mobile and mobility-enabled, and operate reliably in even the most demanding environments. Enter the Rajant Kinetic Mesh® network.
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