Caipos Wireless Sensor Network at Çayeli Mine

Çayeli mine is a large Copper & Zinc mine located in the northeast of Turkey in Rize Province.  Main outlet is in the foothills of the Pontid mountain range. It has shallow underground and very weak ground conditions. The problems with ground conditions have increased recently with increasing of extraction ratio in the upper level of mine. An intensive study program has been undertaken in order to improve ground support practices. Important part of research program was to find relation between soil moisture on different depth and movement of ground masses.
Mining area from different points of view

Every measurement point should have three soil moisture sensors on 2 m, 1 m and 0.5 m depth. Data should be collected on a central platform and available via web interface. There are totally 16 measurement points.

Basically, there are 3 possibilities to build such sensor network

1. Install base station and connect sensors by cable.
Due to mine security regulations, difficult access to the measurement points and large distances, cable installation was not feasible.

2. Install GPRS enabled station at every measurement point.
This solution has multiple disadvantages. Cost of GPRS station is high. Due to very high power consumption of GPRS module (up to 2A) and long communication time (about 1 minute to connect to network and transfer data) GPRS station needs solar panel and rechargeable battery. Installation becomes difficult and expensive. SIM card with data contract is needed for every point. This brings additional cost and maintenance. GPRS may not be available at every point.

3. Wireless sensor network. 
In this case there would be one or 2 wireless concentrators and multiple wireless sensor nodes(WSN). WSNs should work autonomously for at least one year and communicate with the base station on the range of more than 2 km.

The company has decided to use wireless sensor network.

After reviewing multiple offerings, the company has chosen Caipos Wireless Sensor Network CaipoWave. CaipoWave has unique combination of features not found in other products.

  • Works with a single battery set for 3-5 years.
  • Guarantees reliable communication on the range of  1-3 Km on the line of sight
  • Every wireless node supports 4 analog and 1 digital sensor. In standard configuration 3 soil moisture and 1 soil temperature sensor is used
  • Up to 16 WSNs can be connected to a single base station without any extra devices
  • Base station collects data from directly connected sensors and from WSNs and forwards it to Caipos central web platform
  • Web platform can be installed on customers hardware. Base station can send data to 4 different servers at the same time

Caipos base station was installed on the highest point so that it can communicate with  all wireless sensor nodes. 16 wireless sensor nodes were installed on different sides of the mountains on the area of about 220 Ha.  To overcome obstacles like bushes and trees WSNs were mounted on 3m high musts. Thanks to very easy installation (connect sensors and switch on the device) complete network was installed and made fully operational within 2 days.

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Caipos Wireless Sensor Nodes