Mining Contract: Subterranean Wireless Electronic Communication System
Kutta Consulting is designing and developing a subterranean wireless electronic communications system for the U.S. Army. NIOSH is taking advantage of this ongoing program by adding funds to extend current design and development efforts to address operability in the underground mine environment. Kutta Consulting will design, develop, test, and deliver a production-ready wireless radio communication system for underground mines. The system will include analog and digital handheld medium frequency radios and complementary repeaters and be tested in a variety of underground environments.
Contract Status & Impact
This contract is complete. To receive a copy of the development contract final report, send a request to OMSHR@cdc.gov.
This contract was funded as part of an interagency agreement program, which provides a formal means for federal government agencies to share and further technology that could apply to and benefit mine safety and health. OMSHR identifies other government agencies with the knowledge, skills, and abilities relevant to a health and safety gap and works collaboratively with these agencies to identify the type of technology solution desired and to determine specifications for this technology.
Kutta successfully demonstrated its system at Consol's Loveridge No. 22 mine in Marion County, West Virginia.
Kutta delivered its explosion-proof UHF-MF (Ultra-High Frequency to Medium Frequency) Bridge. This deliverable uses standard, approved UHF radios on a medium frequency system. The bridge was tested successfully at NIOSH's Safety Research Coal Mine using UHF handheld radios approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Kutta delivered its portable analog medium frequency radios and tested them underground at the Safety Research Coal Mine. The portable radios succeeded in communicating from the drift opening to the face of the mine, a distance of more than 1,000 feet non-line-of-sight.
In May 2009, at a meeting of its interoperability working group, Kutta described how to use its medium frequency technology as an emergency communication system in an underground mine.