Kruger National Park upgrades communication system

Issue 5 2021 Mining (Industry)

The Kruger National Park covers an area of 19 485 square kilometres from the Limpopo to Mpumalanga province in north eastern South Africa. Sprawling across 360 kilometres from north to south and 65 kilometres from east to west, it is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) marks part of this park as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve.

There are over 600 park game rangers, who work along with the assistance of SAPS and the SANDF to carry out the anti-poaching activities, supported with two helicopters. Along the Mozambique border (also including buffer zones), there are long fences that were established to prevent unwanted ‘visitors’ infiltrating the park.

The surveillance effort is managed from the control centre in the park along with the national anti-poaching committee, which also oversees all activities and coordinates related units for anti-poaching requirements. To aid the efficient collaboration of resources, a professional communication solution was required that would help the group’s objective to achieve zero loss of life from poaching activity, both animal and human.

Protection through communications

Considering the challenging wilderness and natural sensitivity of the operation across the park, fixed line and mobile telecommunication services only cover the main tourist areas and didn’t deliver on the mission critical requirement. Due to the scale of the reserve, with massive plains and grass fields, it was not feasible and economical to set up many sites to provide communications and those on patrol had used simple push-to-talk on their old analogue radio system for many years.

However, as poaching activity increased and more resources were added to the anti-poaching activities, the existing system became crowded and less efficient. The rangers also suffered from several casualties in more remote areas, therefore a better way to locate incidents and send reinforcements was needed.

After a comprehensive site survey and discussions with the management team about budget allocation and current infrastructure, Hytera provided a reliable, cost-effective anti-poaching communication system comprising a multi-site DMR (digital mobile radio) Tier II repeater system and the Smartdispatch application.

TDMA and DMR expand options

This system uses TDMA technology to improve channel efficiency across the allocated radio frequencies, so the digital communication capacity is doubled compared to the old analogue system, with no need to apply for new frequencies. The microwave connected repeaters are the backbone of the communication system, supporting clear voice and data services, with a dispatching centre completing the solution.

The control centre can now manage remote maintenance and improve response times by using various applications such as SDS, vehicle location, personnel location polling and track monitoring services.

To survive in the harsh environment of the game reserve, Hytera MD785G and PD785G terminals were deployed, compliant with MIL-STD-810G standards to ensure that performance is unaffected by the inevitable knocks and drops. Even under challenging weather conditions such as heavy rain and dust storms, the radios continue to work well and provide outstanding clarity.

The repeater-based system is future- proof and can be easily upgraded to Hytera Extended Pseudo Trunking (XPT) in the future if the communication activity increases. The repeaters can even migrate to a Hytera DMR Trunking system through a software upgrade if the ranger resource continues to grow, providing a simple migration path to expand to a more powerful system in years to come, allowing more effort and focus to be invested in wildlife protection.

For more information contact Sindy Liu, Hytera Communications Corporation, jia.liu@hytera.com, www.hytera.com




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Fence monitoring from the cloud
Issue 5 2021 , Editor's Choice, Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Mining (Industry)
Assmang Black Rock Mine boosts security with Devtron’s Circuit Master cloud-based fence monitoring system for round-the-clock communications and security.

Read more...
Integrating biometrics and operations
Issue 5 2021 , Mining (Industry)
Time is money in mining operations, so rugged solutions that offer high-throughput, accurate authentication and healthy security measures are essential to the future of mines.

Read more...
How can South Africa’s mines embrace digital transformation?
Issue 5 2021 , Mining (Industry)
A mining round table hosted by Huawei and The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM), featured experts from across the industry sharing some of the latest digital transformation trends.

Read more...
Mines can create value with effective fire suppression
Issue 5 2021 , Mining (Industry)
If mining operations can justify the cost requirements of an effective safety system, instead of a minimally viable option, we can create mines that are safe for all workers.

Read more...
Integrated solutions for mining
Issue 5 2021, Secutel Technologies , Mining (Industry)
Due to various health and safety acts and regulatory requirements, mines are forced to ensure the well-being of their employees/miners and many mines are turning towards technology to address these challenges.

Read more...
End-to-end communication and monitoring
Issue 5 2021, Elvey Security Technologies , Mining (Industry), IT infrastructure
Pulling together all the elements that are required to ensure uninterrupted inter-personal communication, proactive monitoring of mine assets and equipment and the security of human and material resources requires specialised services.

Read more...
Collaborative mine security methodologies
Issue 5 2021, Bidvest Protea Coin , Mining (Industry), Integrated Solutions
The increasing criminal attacks and high losses experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdown periods highlighted the need for an increased focus on and renewal of the methodologies used to secure mines.

Read more...
Vehicle-to-office connectivity
Issue 2 2021 , IT infrastructure, Mining (Industry)
A large coal and heavy minerals mining company in South Africa is rolling out a mine-wide wireless digital connectivity networking solution that interconnects the various employees’ mobile devices to monitoring systems on vehicles, mining equipment and conveyor belts throughout the mine.

Read more...
An end to complexity and frequent false alarms
Issue 6 2020, Dallmeier Electronic Southern Africa , Mining (Industry)
The right camera technology and the right artificial intelligence (AI) systems provide for smarter perimeter protection with almost no false alarms.

Read more...
Perimeter security design
Issue 6 2020, XtraVision , Mining (Industry)
XtraVision offers some tips on designing the right perimeter security solution and selecting the appropriate technology.

Read more...