Active RFID Drills into Mining Industry

This article was originally published by RFID Update.

June 19, 2006—Real-time locating systems (RTLS) provider AeroScout of San Mateo, California, last week announced a new solution targeted at the mining industry. Designed to improve the safety of miners, it was codeveloped with Mine Site Technologies (MST), a specialized mining communication company in Australia.

The new solution combines AeroScout’s WiFi-based active RFID product with MST’s Integrated Communications Cap Lamp. Specifically, active tags are embedded in the cap lamp apparatus, allowing them to be located in real time without increasing a miner’s equipment load. Location information is transmitted to the MST ImPact Digital communications hub, a web-based tool which the mine manager views to centrally monitor miner safety and general mine operations. All such location information can be logged. AeroScout’s solution — which includes the tags plus its MobileView software platform — supports features like zone monitoring and event-based alerts.

Because the solution is based on WiFi standards, it can leverage existing WiFi access points and hardware, eliminating the need for a mining enterprise to purchase a new network infrastructure to support the tracking. Furthermore, once the software is in place, AeroScout tags can be used beyond the tracking of miners to other physical assets and machinery.

The complete RTLS solution is available from MST.

While healthcare continues to be the biggest opportunity for WiFi-based RTLS providers like AeroScout (see Report: 2 Million RTLS Tags Shipped in 2010), interest has been building from the mining industry, no doubt spurred by the tragic accidents of the last twelve months. Earlier this year, AeroScout competitor Ekahau announced a deployment at a tunnel construction site in Spain (see RTLS Protects Mine and Tunnel Workers).

Read the announcement from AeroScout