September 22, 2007 Since the beginning of 2006, mining disasters around the world have claimed over 200 lives, a statistic that makes clear the value of this unique two-way "through-the-earth" communication system. Australian company Tiller + Tiller, in association with Mine Site Technologies, have designed the Integrated Communications Cap Lamp, a device aimed at ensuring that miners can instantly and easily be contacted with potentially life saving information about emergencies and evacuation routes in the event of accidents underground.
The most significant feature in the lithium ion powered unit is the PED, or Personal Emergency Device. The pager uses an ultra low frequency that enables messages to travel through hundreds of meters of rock strata. Upon receiving a message, the cap lamp will flash and the unit will emit a buzzing sound. Messages can be sent to individual units or to the group as a whole, and each pager can store two messages.
The ICCL is the only product of its type available commercially, and has already achieved sales of $3 million annually. The product has is in use in locations ranging from Australia, the US, China, Africa and South America.