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Vehicle Proximity Alert and Collision Avoidance System from Orbit Communications

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article image Vehicle Proximity Alert and Collision Avoidance System

Orbit Communications  has released a new Vehicle Proximity Alert and Collision Avoidance System, called BodyGuard. The BodyGuard provides an industrial collision avoidance solution for applications that involve moving machinery, vehicles and personnel.

BodyGuard offers continuous detection and notification of proximity between moving objects and other moving or fixed objects. BodyGuard sets up one or more user-defined protection zones around a vehicle, equipment, beacons and buildings to offer continuous protection for valuable resources.

Whenever any BodyGuard proximity warning unit enters the protection zone of another BodyGuard proximity unit an alarm is activated. The alarm is deactivated when the objects move outside the protection zone. The typical protection zone is user-programmable from around 2m to 50m.

The operating frequency of the BodyGuard proximity alert system is 902 to 915 MHz for US and most other international locations and 915 to 928 MHz for use within Australia installations.

The BodyGuard proximity alert system consists of 3 main component types. A typical system can comprise one or more of the following component types.

  • Sensor Unit: Transmits a digitally coded radio signal that is detected by other proximity Sensor Units. Receives and processes radio signals from other proximity Sensor or Personal Tag units.
  • Control Unit: Enables multiple sensors to be fitted to a vehicle and provides logging of all proximity notifications from Sensor Units on the vehicle. Enables remote setup using a PDA or laptop computer
  • Personal TAG Unit: Transmit only device that is worn by a person (typically belt or hard-hat mounted) continually emits the coded radio signal to be received and processed by proximity Sensor Units

All proximity Sensor Units and Personal Tag Units continuously transmit specially coded digital radio signals. Proximity Sensor Units are also continuously monitoring transmissions from other Sensor Units and Personal Tag Units.

Whenever a Personal Tag Unit or Sensor Unit enters the user-defined protected zone of a particular Sensor Unit, the Alarm Relay contacts are activated. When the detected objects move outside the protection zone, the alarm relay contacts will de-activated.

The Alarm Relay contacts are typically used to activate an audible siren or flashing strobe light as an indication that the protection zone has been penetrated by another object. The Alarm Relay operation has been designed to be fail-safe and satisfies L.I.S requirements for mining and other industrial applications.

If for any reason the Sensor Unit (or a Control Unit) fails to operate correctly, the Alarm Relay contacts will close. Multiple Sensor Units may be installed on a vehicle to provide coverage at front, rear, left and right. A 2-sensor system would result in front and back protection.

The Control Unit coordinates all sensors on the vehicle that is fitted with multiple proximity Sensor Units and maintains a date/time stamped history record of all detections from each of the sensors in non-volatile memory. The information stored includes date, time, unique unit id, type of object detected and level of signal from detected object.

The Control Unit has a built-in Bluetooth wireless link that enables the history log to be downloaded and the protection zone distance to be set up for each Sensor Unit on the vehicle from up to 100m using a PDA. The installer does not require access to the CAB of the truck or need to stand close to the vehicle to configure the system.(Particularly relevant for large mining trucks where access to the vehicle is limited and for safety purposes, keeping the installer at a safe distance from the tyres of large vehicles than can be cause immense damage when they blow out).

Features of the Bodyguard include:

  • C-Tick Approved.
  • Operates on universal free-to-air frequency (915MHz)
  • User programmable range to 50m
  • Enables up to 360 degree coverage using multiple sensors on a vehicle
  • Wide range power supply (9.6V to 36V DC/AC suitable for 12 and 24V vehicle systems)
  • Fail-safe alarm contacts meet L.I.S requirements
  • IP65 rated weatherproof enclosure
  • Supplied with mounting plate and protection cage for heavy vehicles
  • Control unit enables data logging of all proximity detection events to provide Audit Trail (Time/Date stamped)
  •  Remote configuration using PDA or laptop computer

Applications of the Bodyguard include:  

  • Large haul road mining trucks
  • Utility vehicles
  • Personnel
  • Forklifts
  • Entranceways and walkways
  • Warehouses
  • Forecourt areas
  • Cranes
  • Equipment safety lock-out

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