Mining Contract: Radio System Modifications for Improved Mine Safety (Medium Frequency)
This contract will increase the performance of medium frequency (MF) communications in underground mines and lead to a white paper that describes how the MF radio system can be used as part of a complete communication and tracking system for smaller mine operators.
Contract Status & Impact
Kutta Technologies, Inc., will improve medium frequency (MF) radio systems in underground mines by meeting the following contract objectives:
- Increase MF radio system performance and situational awareness on the surface.
- Build a coupling mechanism that significantly improves MF signal power for fixed installations, such as at the surface mine office.
- Create and/or modify software that enables surface personnel to determine link status and command test modes for individual radio units, and present the data in a useful manner.
- Add enhancements to the analog product line that allow better site surveys, easier installation, and faster troubleshooting.
- Build an MF field strength measurement device that provides both visual indication as well as USB output for data logging.
- Add an operational test mode to the MF portable and repeater units to enable automatic periodic transmissions that suspend (and optionally restart) when another radio transmits.
- Build power supply options for the portable radio units.
- Allow portable units to operate on line power in fresh air, for normal day-to-day use.
- Develop primary (non-rechargeable) battery packs that can be stored for extended periods in a mine cache for use upon loss of line power.
- Create a white paper that describes how the MF radio system can be used as part of a complete communication and tracking system for smaller mine operators.
- Describe affordable options for operators of small underground mines, such as punch mines or anthracite mines, to meet MINER Act requirements for communication and tracking.
A brief summary of the deliverables is included below:
- MF radio software update, including link status and test mode functionality
- One laptop computer with software that controls radio test modes and manages link status
- One MF field strength measurement device, with visual display and USB output
- Two power adapters that allow portable units to be powered from 110 volt AC line power
- Two couplers for improved MF signal power
- White paper that describes the MF system as part of a solution for smaller mines
- Final report delivered