MSHA certification for ActiveMine
Active Control Technology has applied to have key components of ActiveMineTM, a 100% wireless two-way voice communications and tracking system for underground miners, certified by the US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The company has filed for certification of its wireless mesh node modules and battery back-up, which are to be placed in operating areas of mines and form the backbone of the ActiveMine wireless network system. Certification of other components such as handheld Wi-Fi telephones will be sought later. Historically, the estimated timeline from application filing to approval has been six to 12 months; however, certification of systems which relate to safety and communications are being fast-tracked by MSHA.
Officials with MSHA, the federal enforcement agency responsible for the health and safety of US miners, observed a live demonstration of ActiveMine last year and subsequent benchmarking of the system in a major Illinois coal mine.
Under provisions of the US Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act, all underground mines in the US must install wireless two-way communications and electronic tracking systems within three years of the Act’s passage last June. MSHA’s mandate includes evaluation and certification of these systems as “intrinsically safe” for areas of underground coal mines where methane gas may be present.
“Having already proven ActiveMine’s performance in underground coal mining conditions, filing for MSHA approval is the next key step toward commercial deployment,” said Steve Barrett, President and CEO, ACT. “We are also continuing discussions with coal and hard rock miners who seek the communication, locating and efficiency benefits of our system.” www.activecontrol.com