We’re buzzing with excitement over our new wireless tracking technology – it can hone in on mine workers deep underground, helping to save lives and boost productivity.

Dr Mark Hedley and Dr Jay Gao with WASP

Dr Mark Hedley and Dr Jay Guo show off WASP.

WASP (Wireless Ad hoc System for Positioning) can track people and objects to an accuracy of about half a metre, a great improvement on conventional methods such as GPS and WiFi-based tracking, which in underground environments are  either inaccurate or don’t work at all.

It was commercialised by mining communication company Minetec and incorporated into their Trax+Tags II suite, which is being launched today at the Asia Pacific International Mining Exhibition in Sydney.

“WASP is critical to modern underground mining and will significantly improve productivity, lower operational costs, and reduce health and safety issues for mining operations,” says Andy Sheppard, executive general manager of Minetec.

“The high resolution situational awareness improves the accuracy of forecasted productivity thus closes the gap between planned and actual targets.

The Trax+Tags II user interface.

The Trax+Tags II user interface.

“It is a revolutionary technology that offers a highly accurate, cost-effective tracking solution for underground mining and we are hoping to expand its use for aboveground in the near future.”

Wireless systems expert Dr Mark Hedley who led the project, says WASP uses small mobile tags attached to vehicles or mine workers together with a series of reference nodes placed at known locations around the area being monitored.

“These nodes communicate wirelessly, calculating the arrival time of signals, allowing the system to accurately track the location and speed of objects as they move through an underground mine pit or tunnel,” he says.

“The technology can be used to locate workers in emergency situations and has the ability to act as a network that could send sensor data such as a worker’s heart rate, core temperature or gas or radiation levels in the surrounding environment.”

Our research focuses on enhancing safety, increasing productivity and improving efficiency through wireless technologies in a range of sectors including mining, construction, infrastructure.

Find out more about WASP.


Media contact: Crystal Ladiges. Ph: +61 3 9545 2982, mob: 0477 336 854, e: crystal.ladiges@csiro.au


  1. also does it come in bright colours so the bogger operator can see them and not destroy them?

    1. Hi Wade. Have a look on the Minetec website – they are the manufacturers of the gear and will know the ins and outs of colours etc: http://www.minetec.com.au/


  2. 1. is it battery powered? if yes, how long does the battery last?
    2. is the wireless network system powerful enough to transmit large quantity digital data?

  3. Nice one!

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