Geotechnical monitoring instruments play a vital role in keeping underground mines safe and productive. Measurements and other information related to the status and movement of rock masses and soil deposits within the mine allow mine engineers to check that everything is within tolerable limits and act if a potential risk is identified.
Contractometers, multi-point borehole extensometers, instrumented cable bolts, ground movement monitors, sloughmeters, thermistor strings, and other types of geotechnical monitoring instruments all provide data on different aspects of geomechanical and other factors within the underground mine. This information is indispensable for mine engineers, as it gives them a body of information that can be used for monitoring and decision making.
However, information is of little practical use while it is limited to the electronic readout head on each instrument. To provide real value, this information must be gathered and brought to a central point where it can be collated, analyzed, and acted on.
It makes sense, then, that the faster and more easily this information can be collected and made use of, the more valuable it becomes. The best way to gather information from geotechnical monitoring instruments and work it into a usable format is by connecting all of them to a central, preferably wireless, network.
In this way, data is gathered from geotechnical monitoring instruments at pre-determined intervals and moved quickly and easily to a network interface, from where it enters the mine’s existing Ethernet/LAN network and becomes readily available for use by mine engineers.
The MDT-RTU wireless node is an indispensable part of most underground mine monitoring networks, as it can be connected to a variety of geotechnical monitoring instruments (up to 3 at a time) and loop the data from one node to the next until it reaches the Ethernet gateway.