The NetNodeIS, Intrinsically Safe, is the latest adaptation of Cobham’s world-leading COFDM (Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) wireless communications product range. Developed specifically for deployment in underground coal mines, the system can remain active and uninterrupted even when an explosive atmosphere has been detected, leading to improved production efficiency and miner safety.
The design of the NetNodeIS is based on proven Cobham COFDM technology currently used in demanding environments by military, government and broadcast organisations worldwide. The wireless mesh system is now offered with the European ATEX and the International IEC Ex M1 certifications, ensuring its intrinsically safe design and build quality. These standards permit its use in underground coal mining environments.
The NetNodeIS gives operations managers in coal mines another valuable tool to ensure continual access to critical production data and to maintain situational awareness from the coal face to the control room. The product can be used in combination with other Cobham wireless COFDM nodes and other existing third-party IP-based systems placed outside the mine, or in the areas where a potentially explosive atmosphere does not occur.
Richard Tyson, president of Cobham Aerospace and Security division, said: "After strong design and development the NetNodeIS has passed the strict regulatory requirements and has received the safety certification, making it ideal for underground coal mining environments. This latest product innovation again shows Cobham’s dedication to providing critical communications in harsh and hazardous environments."
NetNodeIS can be combined in a fluid self-forming, self-healing mesh which continually optimises the routing of IP traffic such as voice, video and control data over multiple redundant communication paths around the network. This is particularly important in the eventuality of unplanned obstructions occurring which may arise from mining operations or accidents.
These benefits, together with the transmission range provided by each node, present a cost-effective solution in critical operational environments. This system and all its constituent components are also suitable for use in all other mining environments.