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Turkish Mines Track Workers With BLE

Tagvance has deployed Leantegra's Bluetooth Low Energy technology in a lead and zinc mine in Southern Turkey for the Dedeman Mining Company, thereby ensuring that the firm meets new federal safety regulations.
By Claire Swedberg
May 31, 2017

For the past month, some miners in Turkey's Taurus Mountains have been wearing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons as part of a real-time location system (RTLS) to help their employers view their location. The Leantegra BLE system, provided by telecom technology company Tagvance, enables the mine to meet federal regulations recently enacted by the Turkish government, in order to ensure that miners can be located at any time when in tunnels.

The regulation is intended to provide a safety measure for mining personnel in the event of an emergency. The penalty for non-compliance is $25,000 for the first offense, and a one-month cessation of mining operations for the second.

Because the gateway is installed overhead, it captures signals coming from the zone to the right and from the left, and the software determines the location from which the tag is transmitting.
Tagvance is offering the Bluetooth Low Energy beacon-based system for lead and zinc mines in Turkey to help mining operations comply with the regulation. The system includes Leantegra's BLE WiBeat beacons worn by miners, as well as WiRange receivers that act at gateways to receive transmission data and forward it to a server. A lead and zinc mine owned by Dedeman Mining is the first to deploy the technology at its site in the Taurus mountains of Southern Turkey.

The mine in which the system is deployed consists of an underground tunnel split into multiple zones. The company needed the technology to identify each miner and pinpoint the specific zone into which he or she had gone. In that way, the firm would have real-time location data for emergencies, as well as for its own analytics.

With the deployment, WiBeat BLE beacons are worn by approximately ten miners. In this case, Leantegra's battery-powered beacons, which are commonly used for BLE transmission to smartphones, are switched to Location Tag mode. The beacons transmit to WiRange wireless gateway readers installed at each point where individuals move toward one of two zones within the tunnels. Because each gateway is installed overhead, it captures signals coming from the zone to the right and from the left, and the software then determines the location from which the tag is transmitting (the entrance to zone one or zone two).

The beacons themselves can be worn on a helmet or belt clip, and some miners wear them on a lanyard around their neck. Each beacon's ID number is linked to a specific miner in the software.

The WiRange gateway readers forward their data back to a single PowerGate device onsite, which hosts the dedicated local server. Leantegra's CVO Portal software on the server can then identify that specific miner's location according to the zone.

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