Wireless Communication to Underground Laser Measurement Scanner

DeviceMaster FreeWire Communicates to Ruggedized Underground 3D Laser Scanner

Since 1978 the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has been protecting miners safety and health by requiring mining operations to comply with mandatory national safety standards.

One part of these standards defines the proximity that miners can be to a void in the ground after mining has been completed. These voids can be very hazardous locations. The need to know the volume and layout of these voids is critically important in order to accurately refill them and ensure safety after the mining operation is complete.

MDL is a Scottish designer of laser measurement technology and provides eye-safe laser based measurement systems created to assist in safety identifying and filling mining voids. The Void Scanner, VS150, is a cavity monitoring system specifically designed to facilitate boom deployment into stopes, cavities, manholes and bunkers.

This allows operators to see a ‘real-time’ 3D view of the data generated by the VS150. The information obtained from this reading is used to determine the amount of material needed to fill a void that was created from mining.

An added complexity to successful deployment of the VS150 system is that many of MDL’s customers need to have the information relayed over a distance to a safe mining location. Because these systems are often deployed into hazardous locations inaccessible to people, there was a need to create a wireless RS-232 link from the monitoring location to the VS150 scanner.

After testing many different wireless products, MDL chose to implement Comtrol’s DeviceMaster FreeWire product for the VS150 mining application. With the advanced features that the FreeWire had to offer, it was a clear choice. They are now able to communicate wirelessly to the VS150 scanner from a remote location that provides a much safer environment for the workers.