The US government has approved a new wireless communication system from Lockheed Martin that enables trapped miners and rescue workers to communicate during a disaster as safe to use in mines. The company says “MagneLinkTM Magnetic Communication System (MCS) now is the first and only through-the-earth, two-way voice and text capable wireless communication system with US government safety approval.” “Now that the government has deemed MagneLink MCS safe to use in mines, we can make the system available to the mining industry,” said Warren Gross, Lockheed Martin MagneLink MCS Program Manager. “Our expertise in sonar and radar signal processing laid the groundwork to develop this potentially life-saving mining technology.”The rigorous Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) process included a review of the system’s design specifications and hardware, followed by a series of tests to ensure that the system design and construction complied with MSHA safety mandates. MagneLink MCS uses magnetic waves to transmit signals through layers of solid earth. It has two elements. The in-mine unit is positioned near underground refuge chambers and along escape routes. The surface unit is a portable unit that may be easily moved over the top of the area where rescue workers are focusing. Miners and rescue personnel can send and receive messages using digital voice or text. Trapped miners also can activate an automatic beacon signal to help rescuers pinpoint their locations.In June, Lockheed Martin and Carroll Technologies Group signed a reseller agreement through which Carroll Technologies Group will act as the distributor, sales and service supplier of the system. Lockheed Martin will supply the technology and produce the MagneLink MCS systems.