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Becker Mining Systems - Mining Radio Communication Systems

Becker Mining Systems specialises in radio communications and tagging / collision avoidance solutions for the mining industry. We have solutions for hard-rock mines as well as intrinsically safe products for the underground coal industry.

The skills and expertise of our staff enable us to offer the following services: product design and manufacture; system design and engineering; installation and maintenance services; turnkey projects and project management; engineering consulting and auditing; and programming and information technology.

Radio communications within mines

Becker Mining Systems’ smartcom system enables the transmission of radio waves within the entire mine. To achieve this, a transmission cable known as a leaky feeder cable is used. This coaxial cable also transmits radio waves to the environment through the specially prepared screen. This radio technology is naturally not only used for voice transmission; it is also the ideal transmission medium to transmit widespread data and video signals.

The layout of a mine generally follows the deposit, often resulting in curves, branches and other spatial limitations. Similar influences can be expected in tunnelling, and the transmission of radio waves is thus massively impaired. The BeckerCom leaky feeder minimises this impairment.

Leaky feeder radio communication system

The active leaky feeder radio communication system consists of the following:

  • The base station with up to 64 radio channels
  • The leaky feeder cable
  • The amplifiers
  • Intermediate feed cables

Added to this are passive elements, such as three-way distributors, four-way distributors or a terminal element.

Communications system combiner / splitter, amplifier and expansions

The combiner / splitter module comprises up to four leaky feeder cables and distributes all channels to all connected leaky feeder cables. In unbranched cable lengths, the distance of the amplifier should amount to 350m. As required, the amplifier can be adapted to reduced cable lengths.

The leaky feeder system can be expanded by commercial intercoms of well-known manufacturers such as Motorola and Kenwood. Further systems and system components can be easily integrated into the radio system. Examples include the tagging and tracking system of Becker Mining Systems, and PLC control systems.

IS communication system – two-way radio for underground coal mines

The Ex ia-approved radio provides two-way voice communications capability for underground coal mines. The portable radio is easy to operate, fully functioned and highly reliable. The design is compact and user-friendly, making it easy to carry and use.

Collision avoidance system

The collision avoidance system (CAS) was developed to prevent injury and possible loss of life from the operation of mining vehicles in the proximity of mining personnel. In this environment, it is impossible for the vehicle operator to be fully aware of all personnel and light vehicles in the immediate vicinity at all times. The system has the following features:

  • Detects vehicles, personnel and assets in close proximity
  • Works in all environmental conditions
  • Visual and audible alarms
  • Configurable coverage zones around vehicles
  • Compatible with the tagging and tracking systems of Becker Mining Systems (BECKERTAG)
  • Adaptable to mine requirements
  • Advanced receiver and microcontroller technology allows a detection range of up to 100m

Tagging and tracking system

The BECKERTAG tracking and tagging system enables tracking of all personnel, vehicles and assets throughout the mining operation. Active rags transmit their unique codes to tag readers, which in turn update a centralised database. The data can then be used for a myriad of solutions including location tracking, decline traffic information, fuel management, access control, tip cycle times, and so on.

Firebird, which is an industry-standard, multi-threaded, multi-client access database is at heart of the the BECKERTAG tagging and tracking system.

Tag reading systems

BECKERTAG utilises proprietary algorithms and techniques to eliminate false or erroneous tag reads. The system also constantly monitors all tag reads and maintains data for assessing system performance, including any “missed” tags or overlaps (between zones). Tag readers are equipped with received signal strength indicator (RSSI) to assist with accurate positioning when required.

Active tag readers

Usually all miners (for underground operations) and vehicles entering the mine are required to have an encoded transmitter (tag) fitted. This tag transmits a unique identification code at approximately 1s intervals (can be varied between 0.25s and 2s). The tag has a transmission range of up to 200m and transmission time is sufficiently short to ensure minimal collision of multiple tags.

The active tag readers detect the transmissions and ensure that it is a valid signal, eliminating background noise and spurious signals. Only the correct tag data is transmitted to the database.

Contact Details

Becker Mining Systems AG
Barbarastrasse 3
Tel: +49 6897 857 0
Fax: +49 6897 857 188

Becker Mining Systems' smartcom system enables the transmission of radio waves within the entire mine.

The leaky feeder transmission cable constantly transmits radio waves to its environment, while the base station offers all the necessary functions to control the system centrally.

The Ex ia-approved radio provides two-way voice communications capability for underground coal mines.

Becker's collision avoidance system (CAS) prevents injury and possible loss of life by alerting vehicles when they are in the proximity of mining personnel.

Becker's active tag reader detects transmissions and elimates background noise and signals.
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