A wireless, battery-powered, mesh communications and tracking system for underground mining, CommTrac consists of an underground network of fixed nodes, Communication Nodes, that communicate with individual miner-worn mobile devices, Miner Communicators, to transmit two-way data between the surface and underground. The network is a self-forming, self-healing routing system that requires no hardwired backbone.
The CommTrac system provides two functions: tracking and messaging. CommTrac provides continuous tracking, with accuracy that meets or exceeds MSHA’s 200 feet requirement. It shows breadcrumb tracking and direction of travel. Every 30 seconds, the Miner Communicators transmit location data that travel through the mesh network to a user interface at the surface.
The messaging function allows for two-way text with either individual communication or broadcast messaging and freeform or canned responses. Messages can be sent miner to surface, surface to miner, and miner to miner for complete communication abilities.
CommTrac's quick and easy 'Pick and Place' installation requires little effort and minimal operational interruption. Installation, expansion, and advancement can be completed seamlessly with no need for a certified electrician, wiring, or antennas. Therefore, CommTrac has a very low annual recurring cost. Additionally, CommTrac provides automatic system and network health checks that inform operations of any maintenance issues including battery life, node failure, and quality of service.