EProx is a passive tagging system that utilizes small RF/ID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, which do not require a battery to power them and only need to be placed in close proximity (10cm) to a tag reader to identify users/wearers. The active tag, which is operated from the cap lamp, is able to be read within 90m of the reader.
“These tags are used to monitor the safety of personnel and also the productivity levels underground and therefore being able to work with that data on the surface is vital,” said Minecom general manager, Brett Wilson.
Information from the tagging units is collected at a central point over radio and then transferred up to the computer on the surface. Instead of having computers underground, the collected information is centralized on the surface.
The third system Minecom are implementing in relation to tagging is the LAMPS project, for which IS approvals are pending. Developed by the CSIRO and driven out of the Moura disaster, this system is essentially a beacon system to track people under ground, operated from the cap lamp.
“Whereas this system is a major safety feature, it can also be used in daily activities. The system can transmit the heartbeat of the person enabling supervisors to monitor their situation and gauge their physical responses to various tasks. Through LAMPS the operators on the surface can transmit messages to the individual. The system also has a push button response function to enable those underground to acknowledge instructions from up top,” Wilson said.