nanotron Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sensera Ltd has agreed to work with mining technology specialist Meglab to improve safety and productivity in mines. Meglab is incorporating nanotron’s innovative location-awareness technology as a key component of its Imagine platform, an intelligent, modular mine management system. Imagine is a web platform that provides real-time visibility of the underground mine environment. Nanotron’s swarm bee modules are enhancing Imagine’s functionality by enabling users to efficiently track the location and status of mining equipment and workers, as well as any dangerous proximity to other vehicles or machines.
By monitoring the location of workers, vehicles and machines in real time throughout the mine, Imagine facilitates smart ventilation automation, face reports, lamp assignment, mine evacuation support, call for assistance and collision awareness. The result is a safer, better manageable and more effective work environment. Louis Valade, President of Meglab, said: “We chose nanotron’s location-aware IoT technology because it is light-weight, yet powerful, long range and autonomous. It provides robust radio coverage in harsh mining environments. Nanotron’s solutions have proven to be reliable and efficient and can smoothly scale to the needs of any mining application.”
Dr Jens Albers, CEO of nanotron, said: “Meglab is an expert in mining solutions, and the fact they have chosen nanotron’s technology for their Imagine tracking platform is a valuable vote of confidence.” Since introducing the Imagine platform in 2016, Meglab has continuously improved its functionality over successful deployments in mines across the USA, Mexico and Canada. Meglab’s team is working on developing features to meet the changing needs of the industry, and mine operators are empowered to add new applications at any time. Nanotron is gaining incremental swarm bee module sales as a result of the cooperation with Meglab.
Each miner and piece of equipment being tracked by the nanotron solution is fitted with a small tag, which emits a wireless chirp signal at pre-set intervals. These signals are detected by other tags, which then forward them using a mesh network. When the signals reach the system’s central access points, the position of each tag is determined by measuring the Time of Flight (ToF), i.e. the distance that a signal has travelled is calculated from its travel time.
nanotron’s location-aware IoT sensors provide location, proximity and sensor information. Its swarm bee modules are available with either Chirp or UWB radio technology, with a common pin-out, making integration easier and quicker. The modules have a compact footprint, and only require an external antenna, battery and housing.