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The Complex Challenge of Delivering Reliable and Unfailing Network Connectivity Underground

December 1, 2022

Outdoor / Indoor Wireless

The inside of a mine tunnel

Mine operators face mounting pressure to produce and process ore at a lower cost per tonne and remain profitable in an increasingly competitive landscape; all that while operating in some of the most complex and ever-changing industrial environments on the planet. A major task that these operators must overcome is successfully deploying a reliable and unfailing network connectivity to all corners of the mine, especially the working face. Underground mines and tunnels are some of the most challenging environments to deploy network systems. The corkscrew design of ramps, varying sized stopes, numerous crosscuts, and increasing mine depths can severely limit the reach of wireless signals. In a setting with extensive connectivity and throughput demands, operators must consider all available options. The use of technology underground has increased drastically as operators seek enhanced productivity, semi and fully autonomous control, video feeds, energy cost savings, and improved employee safety. Operators can achieve significant productivity gains by unlocking full autonomy and mobility with a portable wireless infrastructure that voice-only leaky feeder cannot. However, many wireless networking options fall short of mining requirements due to their lack of dynamic and fully mobile vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle to fixed node or worker communication.

Utilizing modernized underground mining and tunneling technology 

Underground mines are mission-critical environments. They present a unique myriad of hurdles to deploying network systems. Connectivity and throughput demands are high, and mine layouts can limit how far wireless signals can travel. 


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Rajant logo

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.