By Ron White, 3D-P Vice President of Technology
This year, 3D-P deployed the first 802.11n wireless network in an open pit mine. The mine realized a drastic improvement in available network throughput – with data rates increasing from 11 Mbps to 130 Mbps – and will benefit from a significant reduction in latency.
The mine had been operating on a Modular Mining ® Masterlink (802.11b) network for several years but by 2010 they realized the time had come to find a network that could provide additional throughput for open-pit applications such as machine health and on-board cameras. The new network needed to be reliable, secure and cost-effective, and would continue to provide connectivity for their Modular dispatching system.
When the decision was made to upgrade the existing network, the mine’s management team conducted market research, interviews with other mine sites and reviewed available networks. After an extensive process, they selected 3D-P to upgrade to an 802.11n wireless network using 3D-P’s Intelligent EndpointTM (IEP) product line and Motorola’s AP 7181 access points.
Because the Intelligent Endpoint product line is a radio agnostic, open computing and networking platform, it allows for integration of an appropriate radio for the chosen infrastructure. In this case the chosen radio is a Ubiquiti 802.11n card working with the AP 7181 network. The combination of these products, when compared to all other 802.11n products on the market, can obtain 802.11n speeds at much greater distances in the outdoor environment, due to the ability to differentiate dual data streams at distances over 200 meters.
3D-P’s Intelligent Endpoints also provide an open-computing platform and can host 3rd party software applications. The mine selected Matrikon to provide their machine health monitoring solution and ran it directly on 3D-P’s Intelligent Endpoints. This alleviated the need for additional hardware installations, thereby reducing costs and cab clutter.
3D-P was able to replace the existing network for this mine without interrupting service to existing Masterlink clients.
For more information on how this was done and the benefits to the mine, download our white paper: 3D-P Replaces a Masterlink Network