Newsletter tasks

Local and wide area Dig_IT communication infrastructure and localization techniques

Participants

ICCS 

This activity involves the end users MARINITITANIA and KEMI

Objective and Outcomes

The taks aims to achieve communication security among devices and IIoT platform

The ask help to definingthe communication infrastructure and localization techniques to support the overall IIoTp system. Its outcomes affect task T3.6 “Edge computing devices planning and interoperability”.

Description

Task was completed, validated, and pending to be tested in field (WP6). Localization solutions implemented include Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Protocol and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Onsite Anchors installation was performed in Marini, kemi and Titania mines, and localization was tested along with smart Garments and bracelet, ensuring accurate and real-time location data for workers, improving safety and productivity.

Data Gathering Platform Implementation

Participants

ICCS together with SINTEFCORE and LIBRA.

This activity involves the end users MARINITITANIA and KEMI

Objective and Outcomes

The taks aims to:

  • implement a downstream to the IIoT platform harmonisation layer;
  • develop a sensors platform able to guarantee high-quality data acquisition

The ask help to achieve the WP3 goals defining the design of a well-established IIoT Platform which incorporates various data management technologies and its outcomes affect task T3.4 “Big Data optimisation and analysis” and WP4 “Digital Twins Layer” and WP5 “Intelligence Layer”.

Description

The data gathering platform is the core part of the Dig_IT platform, described in Deliverable 3.1. It consists of various interfaces implemented both for gathering data from different kinds of sources and for exporting data to different destinations. The data comes from various sources and forwarded to various destinations using a lot of methods including MQTT and Kafka brokers, APIs, and timescale databases. Thus, corresponding connectors implemented in order to support all these operations.

Data Gathering Platform Implementation

IIoT Platform architecture design

Participants

ICCS together with SINTEF, ITAINNOVA, TAU, BRUNEL, CORE, LIBRA and SCHNEIDER.

This activity involves the end users MARINITITANIA and KEMI

Objective and Outcomes

The taks aims to:

  • design the architecture of the Dig_IT Platform;
  • define the Dig_IT data management technologies.

The ask help to achieve the WP3 goals defining the design of a well-established IIoT Platform which incorporates various data management technologies and its outcomes affect task T3.2 “Local and wide area communication infrastructure and localization techniques” and WP4 “Digital Twins Layer” and WP5 “Intelligence Layer”.

IIoT Platform architecture design​

Description

The Dig_IT architecture platform for the different components (from devices and sensors, the monitoring units, controllers, data gathering technologies, networks etc.) is accomplished by transforming all system requirements into technical specifications. The platform architecture features real time data collection from the distributed sensors across the worksite of the demo cases. Consequently, near real-time data transmission was implemented with publish-subscribe messaging protocol technologies such as MQTT and Kafka. All the software and hardware infrastructure were designed on such a way that it will expedite and ease the work of end users. The whole architectural design is scalable, flexible and it ensures interoperability and easy information flow between the various components and different data concepts (e.g. real time measurements, input or output of models, economical information etc.). Therefore, IIoT platform stores data from multiple data sources and sends them to multiple data destinations. All of Dig_IT data are stored in a central location and can be accessed from all Dig_IT components and users.

Methodology and evaluation framework

Participants

The evaluation task is a crucial component of our project, which was primarily carried out by ITAINNOVA, in collaboration with the Dig_IT partners and end-users, as one of the main objectives of this task is to evaluate the final deployment of the platform in the different use-case scenarios. Besides, the evaluation of platform’s performance has been defined according to the end-users expectations.

Objective and Outcomes

The purpose of this task is to provide a methodology and evaluation framework to perform a continuous quantification on how the platform is evolving and on the impact of the platform on use-cases’ activities. This evaluation methodology will cover the whole chain of activities from data collection to on-line platform operation.
For such task, two main objectives are defined:

  • To define an incremental evaluation procedure that is adapted to each layer of the IIoT platform, generating specific assessment activities for checking and improving the platform services.
  • To provide a tool for the control and monitoring of the evaluation procedures.

The use and definition of the evaluation procedure proposed in this task is crucial for the development all other tasks within this work package. For task T6.2 “System Integration”, the use of the proposed evaluation methodology is essential for the assessment of the progress of each WP. In this way, the state of each task is evaluated in order to see if all checkpoints have been fulfilled for the further integration. Besides, the defined KPIs according to the end-users expectations will be used to quantify the performance of the platform in task T6.3 “Testing on real use case scenarios”, where general feedback from all involved stakeholders will be collected, and a best practice guide will be developed with a focus on the scalability of the platform, according to task T6.4 “Comparative analysis, Best practices, Scalability”.

Description

About the work done, an initial version of the evaluation methodology was proposed and shared with all partners, and the evaluation tools were presented (Evaluation Control Sheet, Gantt Charts).
After that, the methodology was improved according to the Project Officer recommendations, and extended to include the KPIs for the proper assessment of the platform’s integration according to the end-users expectations.
Finally, after several follow-up meetings to check the performance and progress of the tools, the final version of the evaluation methodology was presented with the final due dates according to the ones included in the amendment of the Grant Agreement. During the development of this task, three deliverables have been submitted, which correspond to the initial (D6.1), updated (D6.2) and final version (D6.3) of this evaluation procedure. Microsoft Excel was used in order to define evaluation tools developed: the Evaluation Control Sheet, the KPIs and the following-up Gantt Charts.

Smart Garment Design & Development

Participants

ICCS together with SINTEF, and SCHNEIDER have designed and developed a Smart Garment capable of sensing mining personnel’s OHSE parameters, including biometrics, communication, and speech recognition. This activity involves the end users MARINI, TITANIA and KEMI.

Objective and Outcomes

The main objective of this task is to design and develop Smart Garment for sensing mining personnel’s OHSE parameters, biometrics with communication and speech recognition, that will be deployed at the use cases of MARINI, TITANIA and KEMI

Description

A Smart Garment was developed to ensure endurance in the harsh conditions of the aforementioned physical mines, with embedded miniaturized sensing devices assessing OHSE, physical and chemical parameters, biometrics data assessing the health condition or stress of the personnel and improved situational awareness. The smart garment was developed in the form of a vest/jacket comprising of a number of subsystems (smart garment hub, headphones, wristband), in order to meet end-users’ acceptance criteria. Below you can see the bracelet and the vest.

EHS & Sustainability monitoring systems

Participants

NEMKO Norlab, in cooperation with SINTEF Helgeland and SCHNEIDER, has developed a distributed EHS and sustainability monitoring system for measuring emissions and working environment conditions. The end users involved in the work are MARINI MARMI, Italy (natural stones, primarily marble; underground mine); TITANIA, Norway (ilmenite, open pit); and KEMI, Finland (chromite ore; underground mine).

Objective and Outcomes

The objective of this task was to develop a distributed and EHS and sustainability monitoring system for measuring emissions and working environment conditions. For this purpose, generic sensor bundles were developed comprised of IIoT / low-CAPEX sensors for measuring dust, NO2, CO and NH3 in air; and turbidity in water. The sensors provided measurements online through a communication layer defined by ICCS, Greece and LIBRA, UK as part of the project. T2.3 was part of WP2 “Data acquisition” and contributed directly to the WP2 objective of developing a distributed EHS and sustainability monitoring system for measuring emissions and working environment conditions. The output from the task in the form of sensor data is fed into the sensor platform / data warehouse developed as part of T3.2 “Data gathering platform implementation” in WP3 “IIoTp: data & device management and cybersecurity”, and subsequently used in subsystems developed in WP4 “Digital twin layer”, WP5 “Intelligence layer”, WP6 “System integration and validation”, and WP7 “Academy, Workplace and Society outreach”, workplace, and society outreach. The data will notably be used in T6.3 “Dig_IT testing on real use case scenarios”. The data will also be stored on the blockchain developed as part of T7.4 “Distributed ledger technologies for sustainability monitoring”. For description of task dependencies, see also work package-level Pert diagram below.

Description

T2.3 built on T1.3 “Sustainability-based use case analysis (environment, energy, operations)” in WP1, which was completed in H1 2021. We then proceeded directly into T2.3 in H2 2021. Based on the requirements from WP1, the project followed a traditional linear process, with requirement analysis, design, implementation, testing at lab, deployment at end user sites (MARINI MARMI, TITANIA and KEMI), and finally testing at site, winter 2022 / 2023. Commercial sensor components were used. The process included some minor redesign / rework cycles plus significant on-site work. The development work took place at NEMKO Norlab’s sites in Oslo and Mo i Rana, Norway. The picture below to left shows the equipment at site and before installation at MARINI MARMI in Bergamo; on the right shows a screen dump of sensor outputs.

The accuracy of the sensor bundle has been characterized by comparison with reference instruments and analysis of passive adsorbents. The accuracy has been assessed to be satisfactory. However, the sensor bundle did not meet the validation criteria for dust with concentrations above 2 mg/m3, for CO in the lower part of the measurement range, and for turbidity in general (though the sensor could be used to identify episodes of high discharge rates). The development of the sensor bundles did not proceed without trouble. We have identified four causes of project delays relative to plan:

  • delay in WP1, on which T2.3 depended;
  • restricted physical access to sites and a worldwide electronic components shortage in 2021 and 2022 caused by covid-19;
  • project-mandated change of one of the end user sites in 2022, from SOTKAMO to KEMI (which have different technical infrastructure); 
  • various technical issues (underestimating the technical implications of on-sensor noise measurements, mechanical design issues with the turbidity sensors caused by sand and gravel). 

T2.3 included one contractual deliverable, D2.3 “Report: EHS and environmental measurement performance”. It was submitted to the project’s management in April 2023 and subsequently forwarded to the project’s project officer and expert for comments. The task is essentially complete, except for some coordination activities at the interfaces with other work packages and tasks, and except for ensuring smooth operation at end user sites over time, including regular maintenance and replacement of faulty parts with spare parts. The following software tools / protocols have been used as part of T2.3: MATLAB / ThingSpeak for stand-alone, early-stage IIoT sensor data storage and analytics (that is, outside the Dig_IT data platform developed in T3.2); MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) for transport of data into Dig_IT data platform (part of T3.2); and MS Office.

Geotechnical Monitoring

Participants

The end users TITANIA, LA PARRILLA and MARINI MARMI have actively collaborated with SUBTERRA to deploy a monitoring system for acquiring initial state information from different mining sites.

Objective and Outcomes

The main objective of the task is to deploy a monitoring system to acquire initial state information of different mining sites and to acquire real time information for Geotechnical-Digital Twins development. Information such as orientation, spacing, trace length, and shear strength with respect to major structures and other geologic features to determine failure potential were collected and analysed.
This task is crucial to WP2 “Data acquisition”, as the most relevant geotechnical information were gathered within the work developed, as no other task is related to the obtaining of geotechnical data to develop further geotechnical digital twins. In addition, the outcomes of this task are useful for T4.2 “Geo-spatial attributes digital twins design and development”. The work to be done in task T4.4 ” Reduced Order Models Layers for digital twins” related to Reduced Order  Models development is important to develop real time models.

Description

This task is focused on the data gathering using different sensors, such as UAV flights Laser Scanner, piezometers and earth pressure cells. The sensors installed in the mines gave information on surface movements, depth displacements, pore pressure, water level and a high-resolution 3D photogrammetric model that allows visual analysis. LA PARRILLA tailing dam has 4 boreholes with a piezometer and a pressure cell in each, we have also made a UAV flight. TITANIA A.S. has 12 boreholes with piezometers and inclinometers in each, we also have survey information of each borehole. Next to the Stabben area there is a borehole which provides us information of the slope. There also exist a Radar and historical UAV flights. MARINI MARMI, with no historical information, but an indoor and outdoor drone flight has been conducted.

Challenges
Connectivity

As is well known, mines usually are remotely located, so there are problems with connectivity, as other partners have experience. As modern mine sites require high throughput broadband connectivity to support increasingly digitalised operations and smart technologies, such as the Dig_IT platform. Digital transformation is driving the need for high-speed and reliable broadband connectivity to support, in this case, real time data analytics, so the availability of enhanced connectivity is critical. As the UAV flight needs good connectivity to send information, as the photos he takes are very heavy. We have sorted out this problem via Wi-Fi connection, the flight will be directed from the hut with Wi-Fi connection, and it will make the pre-designed flight, sending to the monitor with the SD card via Wi-Fi all the information. From the SD card to the platform, the data will be sent manually to the FTP, which is prepared to receive the data. Data Loggers connectivity was solved by adding them a 5G/4G SIM that was able to enable connection with internet and be able to send the information.

Real-time data processing

To reach as much accuracy as possible is necessary, as much information closed to real time, in short, as much information that is received with not much temporal difference than the measure is needed. To achieve this, a FTP server is used, receiving csv files with pore pressure and earth pressure data.