Canadian Mining Journal


COMMUNICATIONS: RCT launches specialized underground Wi-Fi network

RCT Connect units Credit: RCT

RCT Connect units Credit: RCT

AUSTRALIA – Autonomous solutions specialist RCT has released RCT Connect, the first digital Wi-Fi communications network designed specifically for machine automation and control in underground mining operations.

The product is designed to be user friendly and portable and can be installed into a production area and commissioned with minimal time and expertise.

RCT Connect has been designed to withstand the harsh conditions common in underground mining environments. The platform uses a coaxial cable which is able to transfer power and information to access points for up to 1.5 km before additional power insertion is required along the length of a drive.

This feature offers several major benefits over traditional Wi-Fi deployments; these include reduced configuration requirements and a simple installation with only two connections.

RCT Connect provides a connection to a ControlMaster area access control at strategic locations which then link into the mine-wide backbone to transfer information to a machine operator located in a ControlMaster automation centre on surface.

The platform operates at 2.4 GHz and is capable of carrying out remote diagnostics, live machine tracking and delivering live health and production data from the machine.

RCT product manager, automation and control, Brendon Cullen says RCT Connect offers several distinct advantages over commercially available digital communication networks: “RCT Connect is specifically designed to ensure uninterrupted communication between the machine and the operator regardless of location,” he said. “The platform has very stable performance with low, consistent latency and so ensures reliable communications between command inputs from the surface station and subsequent machine activities.”

The network has been tested at a mine site in Western Australia and was recently deployed in an underground mining operation.

RCT Connect can be sold as a standalone package or in conjunction with RCT’s ControlMaster automation products.

RCT is an innovative smart technology company with the expertise to evolve entire industries. It designs, manufactures and delivers technology and service solutions to support clients around the world in multiple sectors. RCT is a global leader in smart guidance, teleremote and remote control automation solutions for the mining industry.

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