A global miner keen to standardise radio systems at a significant mine site has tuned into Mipac’s radio communication services.
Our client needed to streamline their radio systems and improve radio communications during adverse weather events such as heavy rain.
Working within the scope of an environmental management project, Mipac Senior Systems Engineer Simon Willis audited nine radio systems and 13 radio models at the mine site.
He also modelled radio propagation to allow the client to predict radio performance during different weather conditions. To do this Simon drew on a radio propagation model he developed while studying for a PhD in wireless communications at James Cook University.
“The radio propagation model uses 3D digital terrain data to model the radio link to selected locations,” Simon says.
“It accommodates multiple reflections of the radio signal as well as the influence of terrain obstacles such as hills.
“It also allows for easy analysis of the optimum base station location, antenna heights and antenna designs. It means Mipac’s client can be certain its radio link will work before any hardware is installed.”
Based on the modelling results, Simon recommended radios that would provide the most reliable communications for this application. (Because Mipac is vendor agnostic, Simon could nominate the best-possible radio model rather than be tied to a specific brand.) Taking Simon’s recommendations on board, the client has recently selected a standard radio model to improve the radio system across the site.
Simon also suggested relocating the radio base station to an elevated location which would improve communications to remote and challenging monitoring sites, reduce the number of repeaters in the radio network, and improve network reliability overall.
The radio system is expected to be upgraded this year and the client will soon have a more reliable and easy-to-maintain environmental monitoring system that will work in high rainfall events.
This is the first time Mipac has offered radio-related services of this nature.
“The work is usually performed by radio vendors but our clients wisely drew on Mipac’s in-house knowledge to deliver a streamlined result,” Simon says.
Mipac’s innovative and reliable tankhouse products also draw on Mipac’s radio systems expertise.
“For example, Mipac’s wireless state-of-the-art continuous cell voltage monitoring system, CellView®, uses radio systems to deliver readings from the numerous tankhouse cells to the Cellview® server,” Simon says.
“A tankhouse is a challenging environment for radio due to many large obstacles but Mipac’s Cellview® radio system has proven reliable in this environment.”