PowerTrunk TETRA network expanded at Canadian mine

By Critical Comms Staff
Tuesday, 14 March, 2017

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Agnico Eagle Mines has enlisted PowerTrunk to expand its TETRA communications network at the Meliadine gold project in Nunavut, Canada.

Mining operations will also add GPS tracking and two custom-built short data applications (SDA) to run on digital portable radios for blast notice and for stench gas release request.

“While initially as a single-site PowerTrunk-T infrastructure, the TETRA network at Meliadine has grown to add hot-standby redundancy, a total of five site base stations (SBS) and an additional mast-mounted base station (MBS) for rapid deployable operations or for use in specific areas during construction and operation,” said David Torres, senior VP sales PowerTrunk.

“The mine also extended TETRA coverage to include their underground operations over a standard UHF leaky feeder system.” 

By the summer of 2017, AEM expects to have about 500 radios in use and that every light and heavy equipment vehicle (pick-up trucks, drills, scoops, loaders, forklifts, graders, jumbos) will have an IP67 rated mobile radio installed.

“The unique ability of TETRA to support both voice and enhanced data applications on the same user device has given us the opportunity to add two custom-built applications that enhance our safety procedures,“ said Philip Quessy, Agnico’s  IT general supervisor for Nunavut.

The blast notice application will help secure the communication and increase awareness of upcoming blasts in the mine. Although announcements are still made via a voice call, the SDA is designed so that when it is triggered, a blast notification will appear in all selected terminals, displaying when and where the blast is taking place and who has authorised it.

The second custom-built application is designed to allow a terminal user to request a stench gas release. A stench gas release sends a clear and definitive odour throughout the underground operations in the event of an emergency, indicating the initiation of emergency response procedures. By having the application accessible to the appropriate personnel through their radio devices, at any time there is a severe accident that requires emergency response procedures, anyone on the surface or underground could potentially release that gas into the ventilation system to trigger evacuation or other emergency procedures.

“The decision to select an open-standard-based digital communication TETRA system, with a possible migration path to broadband LTE applications, secures Agnico Eagle’s present and future voice and data needs,” said Carlos Fernandez, executive vice president of PowerTrunk.

Image credit: ©Mishainik/Dollar Photo Club

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