The University of Sydney said that researchers at its Centre for Internet of Things and Telecommunications are developing a safe and cost-effective technology that could be a wireless internet game changer for the mining industry.

Supported by an A$800,000 grant from the New South Wales Physical Sciences Fund, the industrial, long-range Wi-Fi system is being created for mission-critical applications in underground mines that require remote monitoring of workers and control of sensitive mining equipment, with signals extending as far as several kilometres underground. 

Leading the project is Professor Yonghui Li, who said the research was a breakthrough for the mining industry, but would have a positive impact on many industries that rely on low latency and high data transmission.

“Our system is the world’s first long-range, high-rate Wi-Fi system that is compatible with conventional Wi-Fi and supports both mobile and multiple-access terminals,” said Li.

“It provides a cost-effective solution and opens up new possibilities for real-time surveillance, image and data transmission, all while guaranteeing low latency, which means it doesn’t experience lag and can be used for highly sensitive, mission-critical work.”

Australian IoT company Roobuck will manufacture and certify the new Wi-Fi system, which should be commercially available within the next two years.

Source: University of Sydney