Tag Archives: Kinetic Mesh

Rajant launches global LTE radio, personnel and asset tracking solution at MINExpo

Rajant Corporation, the provider of Kinetic Mesh® wireless networks, has announced two new products on day one of MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The latest enhancements include the addition of a global LTE radtio to its fourth-generation BreadCrumb® Peregrine product line, and the launch of MeshTracer a software-based personnel and asset tracking solution that, Rajant says, can monitor Rajant BreadCrumbs, AeroScout tags and any Wi-Fi device that uses a static MAC address.

The addition of the global LTE radio means that with one 2.4 GHz radio, two 5 GHz radios and LTE, the enhanced Peregrine can provide up to 2.633 Gb/s of aggregated capacity, the company says.

Geoff Smith, EVP of Sales and Marketing for Rajant, says: “Improving the safety and productivity of mining operations is the by-product of Rajant Kinetic Mesh. It is the only industrial wireless network enabling machine-to-machine connectivity and mobility in markets like open-pit and underground mining”

“Adding an LTE client now allows all mining companies that have invested in LTE to leverage that infrastructure while benefiting from the mine-wide mission-critical coverage Kinetic Mesh provides.

He added: “Tracking personnel and assets is mandatory underground, making Rajant’s latest MeshTracer a logical addition to the BreadCrumb portfolio. Adding the ability to track BreadCrumbs both above and below ground allows a mine to observe areas for process improvements. Finally, supporting Wi-Fi devices allows for two-way communication in emergencies.”

Chris Acton, General Manager for Acubis Technologies, the largest Rajant Kinetic Mesh “Premier Partner” in Australasia, said: “We are ecstatic with the performance we have seen in the new Peregrines that we have deployed throughout Australia. Our customers see as much as four times the increase in capacity over the previous generation.

“Rajant provides unique value by maintaining backward compatibility with previous generation BreadCrumbs deployed in the field. This allows sites to upgrade between models knowing that there will be no loss to communications.”

He added: “We also have many customers in Australia who have invested in LTE solutions but are experiencing coverage and data upload issues. These customers are very anxious to deploy the latest LTE-equipped Peregrines. And being able to now track BreadCrumbs as well as personnel above and below ground provides critical new benefits for our customers.’’

Rajant and ESG Solutions partner on microseismic data transmission for underground mining

Rajant Corporation, the provider of Kinetic Mesh® wireless networks, and ESG Solutions, a leading microseismic solutions provider, say they have completed successful testing with Rajant as the backbone for carrying microseismic data to the surface.

Underground and open-pit mining customers could benefit from these developments as both companies start deployment trials in October as the last step in the qualification process, they say.

ESG’s Technical Sales Advisor, Tony Butler, said: “Many mines install microseismic systems for rockburst monitoring and to collect data from microseismic events that can lead to a better understanding of rock mass deformation. ESG Solutions installs microseismic systems that rely on sensors (geophones and/or accelerometers) to record digitised seismic waveforms with our ESG Paladin® data acquisition units housed in junction boxes. Each Paladin unit must be accurately time-synchronised across the network for optimum seismic event location determination. Data and system timing signals are currently transmitted to and from the Paladin units via fibre-optic networks. To reduce initial system costs and ongoing fibre system maintenance, clients have been asking if it would be possible for our systems to operate on a wireless system.”

The main hurdle to a wireless approach for microseismic monitoring has been the ability to provide accurate seismic system timing synchronisation between the Paladin units, according to Butler.

“With Rajant Kinetic Mesh, we are overcoming the time synchronisation issue with Precision Timing Protocol system timing of 30 microseconds (+/- 10 microseconds) being achieved for networked Paladins,” he said. “Together, we have demonstrated in the lab that Rajant and ESG can do seven hops through the Kinetic Mesh and maintain extremely accurate system timing.”

This development will allow Rajant’s wireless network to be considered for microseismic system monitoring in the field for up to 10 kHz sampling rates, Butler explained, with the system timing accuracy more than sufficient for the vast majority of microseismic systems installed that use geophones and/or accelerometers.

Darrell Gillis, Rajant Sales Director for Canada, added: “Rajant provides voice and data communication at the working face for mines. Deployed in 230-plus of the largest mines globally, Rajant’s fully mobile, autonomous V2X/M2M for underground mining eliminates the struggles of a voice-only leaky feeder with multi-radio high-speed connectivity. Next-generation technology, such as what ESG provides, has mission-critical requirements to function ‘no fibre required’. Rajant offers a robust, reliable, and redundant alternative to fibre that is easy-to-install and maintain.

“Rajant supports very accurate system timing, which is impossible with a Layer 3 solution, making Rajant Kinetic Mesh unique, not only for mining but for other IIoT applications, such as oil fields and civil projects.”

Rajant to showcase Kinetic Mesh networking advantages at Mining World Russia

Rajant Corp, the provider of Kinetic Mesh® wireless networks, is to attend Mining World Russia, taking place at Moscow’s Crocus Expo.

The international trade show, which is in its 25th year exhibiting machines and equipment for mining, processing and transportation of minerals, takes place on April 20-22, 2021, with Rajant joining its partners.

Showcasing collaborative solutions for fully-mobile mining connectivity will be Rajant’s Russia-based distributor CompTek and technology providers LANIT, AMT-GROUP, CROC, DCLogic, NEMAN and SATEL.

Showcased alongside Rajant’s networking will be LANIT’s virtual reality/augmented reality “smart glasses”.

Equipped with a video camera and compact screen, this technological solution’s software operates over the Rajant network and enables visualisation of on-site observations to command centres for collaborative off-site expertise to complete all phases of the mining mission successfully.

“You need a Mission Critical network to enable AR in hard-to-reach challenging locations,” Nikita Ivanov, CompTek’s Head of Sales, said. “CompTek’s integration partners in Russia and the CIS are committed to evolving mining’s overall productivity, safety and efficiency. With Rajant and its partners, a fully digitalised mine is possible.”

Rajant says its partnership with CompTek, a Russia-based distributor of network and telecommunications equipment, has brought together other Eastern Europe and CIS partners to demonstrate support of machine-to-machine connectivity and mobility for open-pit and underground mining.

Marcin Kusztal, Sales Director Eastern Europe and CIS for Rajant, says Rajant’s network is “unique”.

He added: “Our Kinetic Mesh BreadCrumb® nodes overcome the mine’s constantly changing conditions, which hinder connectivity and real-time application support, with industrial wireless networking that is unwavering in adverse and mobile environments.

“Rajant’s self-optimising Kinetic Mesh nodes work via multiple-frequency, peer-to-peer connections. Plus, the BreadCrumbs can be fixed or mobile, ensuring a mining operation’s continuous productivity and safety.”

Rajant Corp furthers Eastern Europe, CIS ambitions with CompTek pact

Rajant Corp, the provider of Kinetic Mesh® wireless networks, is expanding further into Eastern Europe and the CIS with a strategic distribution agreement with Russia’s CompTek.

The Russia-based reseller of network and telecommunication equipment will help support machine-to-machine connectivity and mobility in markets like open-pit mining, underground mining, indoor warehousing, ports, and other industrial markets, Rajant said.

Marcin Kusztal, Sales Director Eastern Europe and CIS for Rajant, said: “Russia has a vast, high tech economy and CompTek is keenly focused on providing their channel partners with value-added solutions within their portfolio to support emerging IIoT networking demands.

“Rajant’s unique ability to hold many connections over multiple frequencies and overcome obstructions in the hardest-to-network areas was missing from CompTek’s offerings. With Rajant, CompTek has what their telecom operators, systems integrators, application developers, and resellers in more than 100 cities in Russia and the CIS have been looking for, creating favourable conditions for its partners’ business development.”

Nikita Ivanov, Comptek’s Head of Sales, added: “We believe Rajant is the most valuable solution for clients in different verticals and markets.

“Industrial wireless networks are needed more than ever. As companies try to digitalise most processes to evolve their overall productivity, Rajant solutions are vital for them. We are happy to be partnered with Rajant.”

Back in August 2019, Rajant announced it was expanding its global presence to include Eastern Europe and the CIS, with its first strategy targeting the mining market in Russia and CIS, and its second approach looking at developed countries (Germany, Switzerland and part of Eastern Europe) where investment in developing advanced technologies was a high priority.

Rajant’s Falcon to bridge Kinetic Mesh network with LTE/5G

Rajant Corporation, the exclusive provider of Kinetic Mesh® wireless networks, has developed a new, high-performance, expandable BreadCrumb® platform, the Falcon.

Rajant’s latest platform offers multiple MIMO radios, extremely high throughput, enhanced security performance, and edge computing capabilities for third-party applications and artificial intelligence, the company says. Combined with Rajant’s patented InstaMesh® protocol, the Falcon is capable of bridging Kinetic Mesh wireless networks with other networks such as LTE/5G, it added.

“The Falcon is part of Rajant’s initiative to develop deeply integrated solutions that securely combine data from connected people, vehicles, machines, and sensors, with machine learning,” Rajant said. “This data combination unlocks the benefits of process optimisation, digital twins, predictive analytics, condition-based maintenance, augmented reality, and virtual reality while improving worker safety.”

Robert Schena, Rajant’s CEO and Co-founder, said: “Like Rajant’s other platforms and BreadCrumb radio nodes, the Falcon will be interoperable with all our technology to expand market capabilities for industries like rail, shipping ports, military, mining, and heavy construction.

“Being able to do video and/or LiDAR processing at the edge is core to unlocking these new capabilities. Combining edge computing with high speed, exceedingly reliable, and highly flexible connectivity delivers the tools our customers need.”

Meglab extends its mine network reach with Rajant partnership

Meglab says it has extended its mining telecommunications service offering through a new partnership agreement with Rajant Corp.

Underground telecommunication is one of the main areas of Meglab’s expertise. With the addition of the Rajant connectivity solution for open-pit mines, the mining industry telecommunications needs can now be fully met, Meglab says.

Rajant provides fully mobile, mission-critical data, video, and voice communications networking for open-pit mines as well as underground mining.

Meglab explains: “As the shape, depth, and configuration of mines are continually changing during the extraction of ore, the mining equipment and infrastructure must be moved, which means network coverage must adapt also.

“Rajant provides Kinetic Mesh®, a wireless network that autonomously adapts to operational and environmental changes. The unique nature of their networking architecture allows open-pit and underground operations to easily introduce, relocate, or remove network infrastructure – without causing any network downtime – to deliver highly adaptable coverage and continuous connectivity.”

Kim Valade, VP Sales for Meglab, said: “We are proud to work with Rajant. The reliability of their products meets the highest quality standards. As integrators, we are a one-stop-shop that offers installation and commissioning of a complete telecommunications solution, from underground to surface.”

Darrell Gillis, Rajant Sales Director – Canada, said: “Rajant welcomes Meglab as a channel partner servicing the mining industry. Open-pit and underground mines, like many industrial environments, depend on autonomous mobility for improved efficiency, safety, and profitability. Our BreadCrumb® nodes can be mobile, and create a mesh between stationary and moving equipment, working peer-to-peer to form a multi-radio Kinetic Mesh network.

“These nodes can be deployed on fixed infrastructure or moving assets, such as trucks and loaders, uniquely enabling vehicle-to-vehicle communications between mobile equipment.”

Rajant makes its underground mining move

Rajant is now looking to leverage the leading wireless network expert status it has built up in the open-pit mining space for the benefit of the underground mining sector.

At the AIMEX 2019 event in Sydney, Australia, last month, Mike Foletti, Sales Director, Asia Pacific, and Geoff Smith, Executive Vice President Global Sales and Marketing, talked IM through the move, explaining that the exclusive provider of Kinetic Mesh® wireless networks had teamed up with other firms to ensure its below ground offering is as complete as can be.

The underground solution the company was pushing for the first time at the event has been made possible by the strategic partnership between Rajant, Poynting Antennas, Extronics, and Australian Droid + Robot, the company said.

In the underground setup, Rajant’s multi-radio, multi-frequency BreadCrumb® nodes combine with Poynting’s wide-band, bi-directional, circular polarised antenna system to create a “complete underground and tunnel-wide wireless network for mission-critical data, video, and voice communications”, the company says.

As part of this, Extronics rugged and intrinsically safe AeroScout Wi-Fi-based active RFID tags for personnel and asset tracking operate in real time over Rajant’s network, never breaking for handoff. With location tracking precision of about 10 m, the tags can be used to identify productivity bottlenecks for improved operational efficiency, Rajant says. And, lastly, Australian Droid + Robot’s Explora droids (one pictured at AIMEX 2019), which Australian Droid says have “ridiculous amounts of traction and agility”, come equipped with Rajant BreadCrumb technology. This allows the small all-terrain robots to carry out underground inspections, enabling the machine to independently scan, sense, and explore locations that may be hazardous to miners.

While this is the first time Rajant has talked about this underground solution, it has already been deployed at one mine site, according to Foletti.

“This is basically an enhancement on any fixed solution that is installed underground,” he said, explaining that the high throughput and low latency network benefits open-pit miners have received above ground for many years, is now be translated into underground mines.

While Rajant will continue to service the open-pit sector as it has beforehand, providing the type of robust network solutions it has for more than a decade, its decision to move underground is easy to understand.

For starters, many of the big open pits are reaching the end of their mine lives, with mining engineers now planning for underground operations.

At the same time as this, underground mines either in development or production are expanding operations at a pace that makes it hard and expensive for fixed or conventional wireless network solutions to keep up with.

Rajant explains: “Underground mines and tunnels are some of the most challenging environments in which to deploy network systems. Connectivity and throughput demands are high, but circular ramps and declines, stopes, and mine layout place limitations on how far wireless signals can travel.

“Many mines, therefore, depend on fibre to achieve reliable underground communications, but installing fibre in active drives, panels and declines is difficult to schedule and can create operational and maintenance nightmares.”

In addition, development plus drill and blast areas can rarely support fibre infrastructure. “It is not uncommon for trucks to accidentally catch and rip down sections of fibre and when that happens connectivity across the entire underground mine can be lost,” Rajant said.

In Rajant’s Wireless Mesh solution, BreadCrumb nodes act independently of each other. This means if one node is damaged or has an issue, the system continues to operate by using another communication route. In addition, the underground solution boasts the highest data throughput on the market, according to Foletti; latency is less than a millisecond, he added. Both features will become even more important as the industry continues its transition to automation.

Smith and Foletti said the company chose AIMEX 2019 and the Australian market to launch this solution as the company already has 35 installations on surface in Australia, at operations owned by some major mining companies, such as Anglo American. Anglo, in fact, is standardising all its global operations with Rajant Wireless Mesh network technology, according to Smith.

The Rajant team is confident these companies and others will see there is a strong investment case for introducing Wireless Mesh underground, too.

In addition to gaining traction with mining companies, Smith and Foletti said Rajant had been making inroads with equipment manufacturers, fleet management providers and other service providers in the mining ecosystem.

Smith mentioned Wabtec (now GE Wabtec) had made an investment in the company as it looked to incorporate its wireless communications technology into its rail systems, while Japanese conglomerate Mitsui had created a strategic partnership looking to rollout Rajant’s technology across several of its portfolio companies.

Despite the introduction of LTE and 5G technology to the underground environment, Smith and Foletti believe there is still a business case for Rajant’s Wireless Mesh technology.

As Foletti said, “If they [the mining operation] move[s], that’s where Rajant comes in.”

This is likely to see the communications infrastructure installed alongside other technologies in the future such as LTE, fibre and 5G in rapidly expanding mining areas such as development and production.

3D-P gets networking at copper miner’s Americas sites

3D-P says it has come up with a solution for a large copper miner looking for reduced wireless network management and improved network performance, all while being able to gather additional machine health data and improve its operational capacity across mine sites in the Americas.

The company had been running an 802.11g wireless network for a number of years, but head office was concerned by the amount of maintenance required to preserve the performance of the wireless network at each of the sites, as trailer moves were becoming a frequent activity, 3D-P said.

“In parallel, the sites had been running several applications on-board their mobile equipment, each using their own hardware, including Honeywell MEM for asset health, Modular Dispatch and High Precision GPS,” the company explained. “Many of these systems were due for upgrade, which in some cases would include increased network requirements.”

Led by the global IT department, the miner was investigating a wireless network upgrade, complete with infrastructure and on-board radio upgrades, according to 3D-P. At the same time, the maintenance department was investigating an upgrade to its on-board asset health dataloggers, adding functionality and supportability.

The brief for the new wireless network was as follows:

  • It should have the ability to reside on Layer 3 to bring network routing as close to the edge as possible, and;
  • It should also require minimal maintenance and have the ability to scale up in line with the miners’ wireless coverage needs.

Part of the global IT department’s vision was to consolidate the radio and the different applications running on-board the fleet into a single platform.

In addition, there was a requirement to include an accelerometer and a gyroscope allowing geo-referenced and time-stamped monitoring of the quality of the haul roads, as well as induced stress on the truck itself. Aligning with the miner’s corporate network switch standard, the solution should include a Cisco switch.

By creating a partnership and factoring in these requirements along with the company’s long-term vision, a “truly unique solution” consolidating these departmental needs into a single on-board platform was created, 3D-P said. This reduced initial costs and downtime significantly while providing the significant performance improvement each department required, it added.

3D-P said: “Additionally, the miner was looking for a technology partner that would support them through the lifespan of the technology from design and deployment, to training, consulting and ongoing support. The partner should also have in-depth mining experience.

“The expected result was an easy-to-maintain end-to-end solution that would support the miner’s requirements overtime while reducing their technology ‘clutter’, improving operations and reducing maintenance time and associated costs.”

The solution

3D-P, in its role as the end-to-end solution provider, recommended the miner deploy a Rajant Kinetic Mesh network. This, the company said, provided the required performance, reliability and scalability, while meeting the miner’s Layer 3 network security mandate.

“Rajant was selected as the technology of choice for the miner’s requirements for its self-forming, self-healing capabilities that would allow significant reduction in ongoing maintenance of the network infrastructure in the mines’ pits,” 3D-P said.

Its meshing capabilities would also allow cost effective increased coverage through dynamic meshing, while Rajant’s RPT protocol and security capability allowed both the required Layer 3 connectivity and the IT departments security requirements, the company added.

For high speed wireless backhaul, Cambium Networks PMP radios were used, with 3D-P identifying their known reliability, GPS synchronisation, channel re-use capacity as well as non-collision based channel access as key features.

3D-P explained the installation a little more:

“The miner’s networks consist of multiple segregated VLAN’s serving machine applications and network management. These networks span multiple Layer 2 segments across each site, being brought from the wired network to strategic locations throughout the sites with Cambium PMP radios. Rajant BreadCrumbs are placed at these locations, and others, creating high speed multi-channel InstaMesh links to other RF visible Breadcrumbs, either embedded in the 3D-P Intelligent Endpoint® (IEP) or standalone.

“Data generated on the mobile clients is transferred from machine to the IEP, or standalone Breadcrumb, to the Rajant wireless InstaMesh network and routed by Rajant’s InstaMesh Cost routing algorithm. This data is routed to its final destination by Rajant’s APT protocol (Layer 2 InstaMesh routing, within single segment) and RPT protocol (Layer 3 InstaMesh routing, between Layer 2 segments) while using the most cost efficient route whilst being blind to the type of network medium used.”

Client access

At the client access level, the solution consists of the 3D-P Intelligent Endpoint. This is designed as an open computing platform and mobile radio with on-board network management and data collection capabilities. The selection of the IEP platform allowed development of a solution that met all of the miner’s needs in a single device, 3D-P said, adding that the IEP model included a Rajant ME4 radio and a Cisco ESS2020 switch, while hosting the Honeywell MEM asset heath system.

“The native suite of tools residing on-board the IEP allowed development of a few customised solutions, including network health monitoring, a publish/subscribe solution for delivery of HPGPS corrections where required, and the firewall capability to provide connectivity via bi-directional network address translation to the P&H (Komatsu) Centurion systems running on their shovels where local static IP addresses are utilised, which are not compatible with the miner’s IP networking scheme.”

The solution saw the miner benefit from a significant reduction in capital expenditure for the on-board solution, as well as reduction in operational expenditure through significant savings in installation and troubleshooting time.

In terms of ongoing network maintenance, 3D-P mentioned its Network Performance Analysis Toolkit (NPAT). This regularly monitors the health of the wireless network from the mobile client’s perspective, with the NPAT data collector running a number of active and passive performance tests directly on the IEP, including ICMP pings of varying size, upstream and/or downstream UDP/TCP throughput, connectivity, neighbour tables, noise levels and location, etc.

The data is then geo-stamped and time-referenced before being visualised on a map for the miner to interpret. 3D-P and the sites are also developing a solution to automate the data collection and provide it to the miner’s own analytical tool, the company said.

The miner decided to perform the upgrade one site at a time over the course of a year, with a former ‘train the trainer’ model followed at each site, 3D-P said.

3D-P says the upgrade of the first five sites has been delivered on time and on budget, with the remaining four sites to be completed by the end of the year.

“Close partnership between 3D-P and the miner played a critical role in this success, through design and development of a complete end-to-end solution that met both the IT and asset health groups,” the company concluded.

Rajant and Extronics team up to improve underground mine safety

Rajant, the exclusive provider of Kinetic Mesh wireless networks, has entered into a strategic partnership with UK-based Extronics to help track workers and personnel underground.

Extronics provides a wide range of Wi-Fi tags for personnel and assets tracking and, combined with Rajant’s latest firmware, 11.19.1, its AeroScout tags are now intrinsically safe and certified for use in hazardous work areas, according to the company.

“Extronics AeroScout’s Wi-Fi-based active RFID tags enable the wireless network infrastructure to accurately track the location and condition of valuable assets or people,” Rajant said. “The small battery-powered, rugged, programmable tags send short 802.11 messages at a predefined interval. The main features include long battery life, flexible mounting options, call button and tamper-proof options, on-board sensor capabilities, the ability to store and receive data messages, and a clear channel assessment that avoids Wi-Fi data traffic interference.”

Geoff Smith, Rajant’s Executive VP of Sales & Marketing, said: “Rajant’s latest firmware release, 11.19.1, provides Extronics Wi-Fi tags with intrinsically safe support when using Rajant’s LX5, ME4 or KM3 network. This is especially relevant to personnel tracking, which is a requirement for underground mines, and other industries, such as oil and gas, petrochemical and ports.

“Given Rajant’s fully mobile private wireless network never breaks for handoff and always seeks the most efficient data path, customers using Rajant technology will not only be able to track personnel, but also identify productivity bottlenecks to improve operational efficiency.”

Chris Sadler, Extronics Business Development Manager for the Americas, said: “Extronics is focused on helping industrial customers improve safety and efficiency through communication and situational awareness, so it’s great to partner with Rajant. With their Kinetic Mesh wireless network now certified as compatible with AeroScout technology, we’re looking forward to providing robust solutions that suit our customers’ requirements.”