Wireless Telemetry in Underground Hard Rock Mining

The ability to monition real-time connectivity to even the most dynamic areas of the mine is essential to gain full value from the mine’s investment in an underground IT network.

To transmit data reliably, remotely and wirelessly from a range of sensors and other monitoring devices is the first step in being able to use that data.  The ability link these devices, cameras, data loggers and communication systems on mobile equipment, back to the fixed network ensures value can be delivered form these systems.

MST’s communication data highway, combined with smart end devices, allow a range of monitoring and remote control  applications to be undertaken by a mine operator to improve efficiency in a number of key areas, such as ventilation, vehicle management, reliable SCADA data links, pumping and safety systems.


Wireless Repeater Node (WRN)

WRN: Wireless Repeater Node

WRN: Wireless Repeater Node

The WRN is Mine Site Technologies recently developed Mobile, Self-meshing Access Point intended for the ad-hoc extension of a mine’s Wi-Fi network into the most hazardous and developing mine environments.

With Patent Pending, it is the world’s lightest, most portable, most reliable and most cost effective self-meshing Wi-Fi device.

  • Extends existing Wi-Fi network, maximising data retrieval and leveraging IoT
  • Wireless Meshing allows full Wi-Fi connectivity without any power or data cables
  • Portable and light weight with multiple mounting and antenna options for unprecedented flexibility of use
  • Intrinsically Safe
  • Lachlan Wheel ensures simple, safe battery change out
  • Dual battery system allows “Hot Swapping” of batteries ensuring no downtime

For more information on the WRN please refer to:

Fleet Intelligence Network

VIP Data Logger/Wi-Fi BridgeThe Fleet Intelligence Network is based on installing a VIP Data Logger / Wi-Fi Bridge module on mining trucks, loaders (scoops), drills and jumbos to log, and stream in real-time, critical parameters to better manage the use and maintenance of each vehicle.   Depending what on-board diagnostics is installed on the truck or loader or drill rig, the VIP unit simply interfaces to those outputs, logs them, and streams the data via the ImPact Digital Network to the server whenever in range of an underground or surface access point.  This data can be such things as:

  • Load in truck tray or loader bucket
  • Engine temperature and revs.
  • Ground speed
  • Exact location, by using our reverse tracking application, to pin point such things as which precise draw point a loader has taken from, what ore pass or ROM pile the load is dumped, etc.
  • Drilling parameters

More relevant to delivering value to the mine, this basic data can be analysed and reports created to quickly identify bottlenecks or in efficiencies in the mining system.  An example being accurately recording cycle times for load & dump cycles and raising alerts should any cycle go outside of pre-determined averages.

MST makes this data available to any other in-house or third party application the mine would like to use, allowing the management process to be further enhanced.  Examples being use in fleet management and dispatch system, such as Micromine’s Pitram or Modular Mining Dispatch.

For more information on VIP mine vehicle data logger please refer to:

Wireless Mesh for Geotechnical and Environmental Monitoring  (WSN: Wireless Sensor Network)

RTU_crCentralize data logging for all types of instruments.  Real-time, remote monitoring of underground sensors. The Geotechnical monitoring in mining can determine and predict the stability of the surrounding rock strata. Environmental monitoring consists of the measurement of parameters like the concentration of explosive or toxic gases, temperature and airflow. This information is key to ensuring the safety of personnel and equipment, and enabling pro-active production planning.

Because the sensors acquiring this data are typically not close to existing power or data transmission infrastructure, a Wireless Sensor Network is an attractive and often only feasible means of data transfer. The picture to the right shows WSN Gateway & Remote Telemetry Unit (RTU) units, along with a strain gauge that form the data gathering and mesh system to stream geotech data in an underground mine.

MST’s Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) creates a mesh network between battery operated nodes to transmit data that allows easy extension from any existing underground IP network.  This allows connection and integration sensors from any manufacturer into a single sensor network. This provides a single point for accessing all sensor data, and eliminates the need for multiple vendor specific data networks, thereby reducing the complexity and capital and maintenance costs of the required infrastructure.

This application represents an example of the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) in mining.  IoT can extend to many types of discreet sensors forming a local mesh network to links back to a mine’s main underground data network.

Geotechnical monitoring is just one application for this wireless mesh network, which can also be used to power and transmit data from a wide range of sensors and transducers.

For more information on the key components of the WSN please refer to:


Remote Blasting

BlastPEDBlasting typically uses cable based firing systems, which are not only expensive to install and maintain, but reduce reliability and can lead to misfires.  Additionally in larger system electromagnetic induction can create dangerous situations and the potential for inadvertent initiations.

MST’s BlastPED remote, centralized blasting system offers a numbers of benefits:

  • Reduces the setup costs for labour and hardware
  • Allows personnel to be further away from the blast area
  • Eliminated safety issues related to cable induction
  • Reduces misfires and lost production time


Remote Control of Fans and Pumps

Remote telemetry and control of underground pumps and fans is regularly provided to mines through a number of options to leverage the underground communication systems already in place, such as:

  • Leaky feeder radio system using radio interface devices such as those from Miri.
  • Ethernet or Wi-Fi connections via the Impact Digital Network to control pumps, fans and communicate with PLC’s.
  • PED through the earth paging system to turn fans and pumps on & off using the ControlPED Receiver.


Contact us for more information on Wireless Telemetry solutions.


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