Underground communication systems perform a vital role in the safety & productivity in mining and tunnelling operations, where modern underground operations use communication systems to enable secure voice communications, to locate both people and machines, remote control of vehicles and systems, mining operations automation, as well as site access and security. A crucial component of the underground communication system is the antenna; a specialized antenna can improve the wireless connectivity in such an environment.

Poynting has a long history of designing and supplying specialist antennas specifically for mining and tunnel communication systems in mines. Poynting manufacture a complete WiFi and LTE range of antennas which are used in mines internationally. Of particular interest, is the circular polarised helical antenna range, called MinePoynt antennas. These antennas have gained significant popularity with our customers and have proven to substantially enhance RF propagation in these intense underground conditions, thereby complimenting the abilities of the connected LTE/WiFi/Mesh nodes and access point equipment.

Numerous customer tests in mines have been performed over the past 10 years showing MinePoynt antennas to achieve ranges 3x to 4x those obtained with a similar gain linear polarised antenna. Some initial tests in a South African coal mine demonstrated a person 1.2 km away from the access point fitted with a HELI-3 MinePoynt making perfect VoIP calls using a handheld WiFi phone. Customers reported numerous other tests done in SA gold mines and various Australian mines with similar performance.