The US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has approved a new wireless communication system, which can be used by trapped miners during an accident.

The new MagneLink magnetic communication system (MCS), designed by Lockheed Martin, is a two-way voice and text-capable wireless communication system, which uses magnetic waves to transmit signals through layers of solid earth.

The MCS consists of an in-mine unit, which will be positioned near underground refuge chambers and along escape routes, and a portable surface unit.

MSHA has reviewed the system’s design specifications and hardware, and conducted a series of tests to ensure that the system design and construction complied with MSHA safety mandates.