Satellite IoT improves borehole monitoring in mines

Wednesday, 14 February, 2024 | Supplied by: Astrocast

Satellite IoT improves borehole monitoring in mines

Astrocast, a leading provider of satellite IoT (SatIoT) connectivity, has announced its partnership with Ontoto, an Australian provider of telemetry solutions to the mining and environmental compliance industry. Ontoto has successfully integrated Astrocast’s Astronode S into its Vibrating Wire data logger, which is being used across the mining sector to monitor mining boreholes remotely using SatIoT connectivity.

The Ontoto Vibrating Wire has been designed to monitor the pore pressures and static water levels in the ground surrounding a mining operation. This information is vital for mining operations to monitor the effects that their works are having on the environment — and for managing risks associated with mining, such as tailings dams failures.

Coupled with Ontoto’s industrial cloud solutions, mining operations receive constant and effective data from the logger; this data allows operational teams to respond quickly and effectively according to the information received, ensuring mining operations maintain environmental compliance. Astrocast’s SatIoT enables this data transmission remotely.

“One of the key challenges mining companies face is the lack of efficient connectivity in remote areas,” said Tim Blake, CEO of Ontoto. “Astrocast’s satellite connectivity solution provides us with a cost-effective and low-power-consumption alternative to traditional providers, enabling us to offer enhanced monitoring capabilities to our customers.”

The Astronode S, integrated into Ontoto’s Vibrating Wire, offers seamless connectivity via the Astrocast satellite constellation, making it useful for mining sites located in areas with poor or no terrestrial connectivity. Having now partnered with Astrocast, Ontoto has decided to replace its previous legacy satellite connectivity supplier.

Ontoto’s Vibrating Wire range.

The introduction of SatIoT technology into the Australian mining sector is set to enable improved automation, waste elimination and optimised production. Furthermore, there are aspirations across the sector to create a ‘connected mine’, consisting of enhanced monitoring capabilities, remote diagnostics and predictive maintenance — all of which contributes to reducing unplanned downtime and maximising operational efficiency and safety. This is something that Ontoto and its Vibrating Wire (among other solutions) is designed to achieve.

Ontoto has extensively tested and successfully integrated the Vibrating Wire on several mining sites and currently provides exclusive satellite connectivity for several mines on the west coast of Tasmania; this experience has proved invaluable in developing a product that is robust enough to satisfy the most demanding applications. Astrocast will continue to work closely with Ontoto, providing ongoing support to ensure high-quality service delivery to customers in the mining industry.

“We are excited to support Ontoto in their mission to provide innovative monitoring solutions to the mining industry,” said Eric Menard, VP of Strategy and Business at Astrocast. “Our collaboration enables the deployment of efficient and cost-effective satellite IoT connectivity that is well adapted to Australia’s mining sector, bringing numerous benefits to the industry and its stakeholders.”

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