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Leica Geosystems Mining Releases World-First Locata-Enabled Combined Satellite+Terrestrial Positioning System Print E-mail
Written by Locata Corporation   
Tuesday, 04 December 2012

Mines Assured of Uninterrupted and Precise Positioning in Poor GPS Conditions

Canberra, Australia and Las Vegas, NV - Dec 4, 2012 - Locata Corporation announced today that their integration partner, Leica Geosystems Mining, has begun to sell -- and ship to their global mining customers -- the world's first Locata-powered positioning systems. The Leica Jps (the Jigsaw Positioning System -- Powered by Locata) is the first positioning system to integrate global satellite navigation signals like GPS, and Locata's ground-based GPS-like networks. The result is a seamless, completely new "GPS everywhere" experience for Leica's customers. This new capability is already delivering unprecedented positioning accuracy, availability and reliability to the world's first "industrial-scale" installation at Newmont's huge Boddington Gold Mine.

Locata-enabled nonstop positioning greatly benefits machine automation in mining because Locata fills in the many gaps in GPS signal availability experienced in an open-cut mine. The Leica Jps ensures a reliable and transparent experience for users with demanding machine guidance applications because it utilizes all available signals, be they satellite-based or Locata, without interruption.

The Locata-based Jps is therefore the world's first system which can justly be considered as "a backup for GPS." Real-world operational performance which is being reported by Jps customers can only be described as "spectacular." Newmont Boddington Gold mine recently published an independent article describing the LocataNet and Jps systems deployed for the mine's drill rig fleet. It reported that drill rig up-time and efficiency have skyrocketed to unprecedented levels after the Jps system was recently commissioned.

"Since deploying the Locata-powered Jps at Newmont Boddington Gold there has been an increase in operational machine guidance availability of almost 23 percent -- from 75 percent up to 98 percent," stated Dr. Brendon Lilly, Product Manager, Leica Geosystems Mining. "Newmont Boddington Gold is so happy with the results that they have turned off their GPS-only solutions altogether, and now rely solely and successfully on Jps alone. They have already installed Jps on 11 drills and intend to equip their entire high-precision fleet."

"The ROI we offer our clients through the Jigsaw Positioning System is extraordinary. Market trends indicate CAPEX is in decline, so the parameters mines use to justify expenditure have become far more demanding," said Ms. Stefana Vella, Global Marketing Manager, Leica Geosystems Mining. "The unprecedented production levels and machine control uptime that result directly from using the Locata-powered Jps very quickly justifies the purchase of the system. Furthermore it aids the justification of expenditure on the high-precision machine guidance systems themselves, for, when operated with the Jps, the ROI increases exponentially. Even in today's market, it isn't a difficult decision to make."

Many mines around the world use machine guidance systems for drills, shovels, excavators, dozers, graders and more to execute the site plan work in real-time. This tight automation dramatically improves efficiency and productivity. At the core of these machine guidance systems are GPS-style receivers that provide vital positioning information, using the satellite signals to calculate a 3-D position.

Unfortunately, in most open-pit environments satellite signals become obstructed, which slows or temporarily halts production. As pits become deeper the problems become worse, drastically reducing the number of satellites the receiver can "see" to achieve GPS-style positioning. In the past, mines and other machine automation users had no choice other than to resort to much less efficient alternatives, such as manual surveying. Reduced satellite visibility therefore negated the considerable investment and operational efficiencies gained from modern machine guidance systems. Something had to be done, and the key to virtually eliminate these issues is Locata's new "GPS-backup or replacement" capability.

Locata has invented a new device called a LocataLite -- it's a ground-based transmitter that generates a GPS-like signal. LocataLites deployed around the pit rim can ensure almost 100 percent positioning coverage. Locata signals "fill-in" the GPS holes with a signal that is processed by the Jps in exactly the same way that GPS signals are. Locata is the only technology in the world that can do this. By backing up their GPS-based systems, mines have an always-on positioning network that works if satellite signals are unavailable in the pit due to physical or man-made obstructions. Jps LocataLites can be permanently positioned on site or moved at will, ensuring a mine's Jps Locata network can be set up where and when needed.

"We all rely on electricity from public sources, but in areas where outages occur companies invest in backup generators," said Nunzio Gambale, CEO and co-founder of Locata. "It's exactly the same scenario for mining companies, where they are dependent on GPS. Locata gives you a GPS backup 'generator' -- a world-first capability which is clearly a game-changer for the whole industry. Before Locata became available mines simply had to suffer through a slow-down when GPS-based systems became flaky. Leica Geosystems had the vision early on to recognize the enormous benefits provided by our technology advancements. They threw their corporate weight behind intensive product development, carefully integrating Locata technology into their world-first Jigsaw mining solutions. It's a marriage made in heaven, and Jps customers will be the ones who really reap the rewards of Leica's outstanding first-mover effort. There won't be any 'GPS doesn't work here' excuses in the future."

The final word rightfully belongs to the end user, where the rubber hits the road. John Carr, Senior Technical Specialist at Newmont Boddington Gold Mine, puts it this way: "Look, it's really this simple. If Locata had not invented the technology to help fix the GPS issues in a deep pit scenario I may as well have gone back home, started breeding pit ponies and sharpened up the picks and shovels... Open Cut Mines, just like everyone else that depends heavily on satellite navigation, are already hitting the wall at the outer limits of GPS technology. With Locata, we've virtually eliminated everyday GNSS signal challenges (the attached plot details the dramatic performance increase for a drill rig over a one week period). And now we also have our own backup in place in case of a more significant or longer-term failure."

To learn more about Locata's revolutionary advances in positioning technology, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Leica Geosystems -- when it has to be right
With close to 200 years of pioneering solutions to measure the world, Leica Geosystems products and services are trusted by professionals worldwide to help them capture, analyse, and present spatial information. Leica Geosystems is best known for its broad array of products that capture accurately, model quickly, analyse easily, and visualize and present spatial information. Those who use Leica Geosystems products every day trust them for their dependability, the value they deliver, and the superior customer support. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is a global company with tens of thousands of customers supported by more than 3,500 employees in 28 countries and hundreds of partners located in more than 120 countries around the world. Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden.

About Locata
Locata Corporation has invented terrestrial positioning networks which function as local ground-based replicas of GPS -- what Locata call "Your Own GPS." There is no other technology that can do this. The company's LocataNets work alongside satellite-based GPS systems to improve reliability and expand coverage for modern industrial, commercial, government and consumer applications where GPS is erratic, jammed or unavailable. Partnering with globally important customers like Leica Geosystems and the United States Air Force, the company is pioneering a new level of centimeter-level accurate positioning -- available anywhere -- indoors or out. Visit www.locata.com

 
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