Underground communications and connectivity have been a conundrum since the very first tunnels were bored by underground miners. When Western Electric standard telephones were introduced in 1913, the first artifact of communication technology made history. Fast forward over a century – even the most advanced underground comms systems aren’t quite able to keep up with industry requirements as more and more safety regulations take hold. Many legacy technologies in prolific use today simply lack the ability to operate in real-time — something becoming increasingly critical for operations on a global scale.
With GPS being elusive underground, what if there were a technology that could replicate the actual GPS signal itself? Thanks to modern innovators, this technology now exists through GPS simulation and extension. In fact, the simulated GPS signal is identical to a “real” signal so GPS receivers can’t tell the difference between it and a GPS signal coming from a satellite.
Utilizing this technology, underground mines can not only track mobile assets, but human assets and industrial IoT sensors as well, greatly increasing safety and response time. The continuity provided by this advanced system allows assets above ground to continue being tracked accurately in real-time, as they pass through layers of deep labyrinthic tunnels, into remote corridors previously difficult to reach.
What are some benefits of considering a GPS propagation system?
- Interoperability – Because the technology interfaces with standard GPS receivers, existing technology that until now has only been usable on surface is now fully functional underground.
- Easy Implementation – With minimal hardware requirements and its compatibility with existing mine infrastructure, installations can be relatively straightforward and quick.
- Simple Scalability – Once the initial hardware is installed and running, it is easy to expand the solution to cover more areas making any GPS device in the mine automatically trackable.
- No Interference – Because GPS uses a low-power signal, it won’t interfere with other communication signals already present
Already in use in subways and tunnels around the world, this technology has the potential to completely change the future of location tracking for underground mines. To explore how this technology can drive safety and efficiency at your operation, please reach out to the team at RAMJACK.