MST makes portable Wi-Fi a reality for coal mines

MST Global’s Wireless Repeater Node (WRN) has received IECEx Ex ia Ma certification allowing the Wi-Fi mesh device to be used in underground coal mines where IEC standards are followed.

“As Automation and IoT become more embedded into operations, the need for reliable, high-bandwidth connectivity being maintained right to the working face has never been higher. The WRN is a key part of MST’s mine-wide digital solutions to ensure this connectivity is achieved” said Denis Kent, MST’s General Manager, EMEA.

When released earlier this year with MSHA certification and MA Chinese certification, MST’s WRN was embraced wholeheartedly by a number of US and Chinese operations, being hailed as a breakthrough in wireless mesh technology for mines. Finally, a cable-free, lightweight, portable Wi-Fi repeater was available that could easily and quickly take the network to every active corner of a mine.

The WRN, used in conjunction with a mine’s existing fixed Wi-Fi network, is designed to bridge the signal between a cabled network access point and the dynamic mining areas where cabling is not practical or economical to implement. Additionally, WRN is designed to enable Wi-Fi meshing of multiple nodes, meaning network coverage can be rapidly extended to temporary working areas, effectively filling communication black spots.

“Pairing WRN with MST’s IMPACT Network provides a fit-for-purpose Wi-Fi/IP network capable of seamlessly enabling VoIP, tracking, video and other data transmissions to and from the active faces and drives where it is needed most.” Kent said.

April 1, 2019