Tunnel Communications System
Voice Communication is a fundamental element of productivity and safety in a tunnelling project and MST offers two main solutions:
- Leaky Feeder Radio for tunnels.
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.
MST’s VDV Leaky Feeder technology is widely used, with radios from Motorola, Tait, and others, but many tunnel projects are requiring more than just basic voice communications, wanting higher bandwidth to support video, TBM and road header data logging, etc. Hence digital networks are being installed in tunnels allowing the use of our VoIP MinePhones for voice communications, and also provide the data capacity to support numerous other applications.
Benefits of VoIP
Tunnel communications bases on VoIP enable users to make and receive person-to-person VoIP phone calls to communicate safety, production or technical information and instructions. This capability can be between personnel underground and between underground tunnel personnel and the surface, and if required to personnel anywhere around the world. The technology does not have the limitation experienced by two-way radio of a finite number of channels, and so facilitates any number of person-to-person calls at the same time.
However it still offers Push to Talk (PTT) functionality like standard radio system for group calls on up to 24 channels. Plus, unlike traditional radio systems, it does not require frequency licensing, as it uses the free 2.4 GHz WiFi band. This is a very important aspect as it becomes increasingly difficult to secure frequency licenses in cities and urban areas where many tunnel projects are taking place.
Additionally, the MinePhone acts like a RFID tag, in that a MinePhones proximity to underground access points allows it’s location to be determined, and so enables personnel tracking in tunnels for the purpose of safety and productivity.