Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

Vihanga Peiris, Kai Zhao, Binghao Li, Henry Gong and Aruna Seneviratne, Preliminary studies of an energy efficient BLE wireless network for underground positioning systems, Proceedings of the 2023 Resource Operators Conference, University of Wollongong - Mining Engineering, February 2023, 190-198.


Positioning is a safety measure and a disaster management method used in the mining industry. Therefore, a positioning system is vital to ensure safety and reduce the risks to life of the workers at mine sites. The major challenge with existing positioning systems located in underground mines is the sending the collected positioning data to the positioning server through the energy-constrained, stationary wireless network nodes. This research is the first to identify the power challenge in sending positioning data in underground mines. By exploiting the mining environment, the authors of this paper propose to use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communications and a cluster-based miner detection system that reduces the frequency of positioning data transmission to the positioning server, hence the burden on the energy-constrained stationary nodes.

Furthermore, the proposed architecture minimises the frequency of scanning, which is the highest power-consuming radio state in the BLE wireless protocol. This paper concludes through empirical evaluation that the most power-efficient BLE neighbour discovery configuration for SRNs of the proposed cluster-based data transmission wireless network is to use a 50% duty cycled 10ms scan interval. Moreover, in our future work, we expect to evaluate the power and latency performances of a BLE Stationary Reference Node (SRN) and a mobile Cluster Head node (CH) using an Omnett++ simulation model.