Kutta DRUM® radios use parasitic propagation of a medium frequency signals to send voice and data communications in an underground environment. These signals magnetically couple to metallic items commonly found in the infrastructure of a mine, and allow for voice and data transfers several miles in distance. When proper conductors are present, signals can travel over 5 miles in distance non-line of sight. These point-to-point communications can be carried by conductors such as: leaky feeder cables (powered or un-powered), phone lines, power lines, lifelines, metal pipes and tracks. Conductors that are even buried beneath the earth can continue to transmit medium frequency signals in many scenarios, making the DRUM® Communication System the ideal redundant safety communication system for mine operators.
Use Case Examples
The following presentation highlights several possible use case examples of the DRUM® Communication System, including;
Redundant UHF / VHF Communications
Survivable Leaky Feeder
Leaky Feeder Extension
Bleeders & Hard to Reach Areas
Rescue Chamber Communications
DRUM® Repeater Installation: This video shows a typical installation of 2 DRUM® Repeaters in an underground mine. One DRUM® Repeater is installed on the surface of a mine, and the other is installed underground near the "Working Face.” Once the Repeater Units have been installed, a twisted-pair phone line or wire-core life-line is run the length of the mine to complete the Medium Frequency (MF) link. In some cases, installation of a life-line is unnecessary due to the DRUM® Repeater’s ability to couple to existing mine infrastructure (phone lines, pipes, tracks, etc.) Once the installation is complete, the Medium Frequency (MF) link provides wireless, non-line-of-sight communications up to 5+ miles between nodes.
DRUM® Repeater Operational Example: This video demonstrates the interoperability with typical UHF / VHF handheld radios and the DRUM® Repeater Units. Miners located near the “Working Face” can communicate with those on the surface by utilizing the Medium Frequency (MF) link of the DRUM® Repeater units. Communications from the hand-held UHF / VHF radios are converted to Medium Frequency (MF) format by the DRUM® Repeater units, and are then propagated throughout the mine environment.
DRUM® Portable Operational Example: This video shows the functionality of the DRUM® Portable unit in an underground mine. The DRUM® Portable units do not require dedicated wiring and provide mobile communication coverage by propagating a Medium Frequency (MF) signal throughout the mine infrastructure (phone lines, wire-core life lines, pipes, tracks, etc.)
Leaky Feeder Extender: This video demonstrates the ability for DRUM® Repeater Units to wirelessly extend an existing Leaky Feeder system. This cost-effective solution is implemented by installing one DRUM® Repeater Unit near the Leaky Feeder cable, and another deeper in the mining environment. The DRUM® Repeater Unit is then able to convert the signal from the Leaky Feeder system to Medium Frequency (MF), send it along to the next DRUM® Repeater Unit, and pass it out to a UHF/VHF handheld radio, and vice versa.