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Refuge Chamber Monitoring: Connecting GuardIAN [Infographic]

Addressing key questions on the installation of MineARC Systems GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring and how it can integrate with IT equipment on site.


As mine sites become digitalised, the need to collect and analyse more data increases, as does the number of devices linked to a network. Refuge chambers are ideally positioned to be an integral part of an underground communication network.

What is Refuge Chamber Monitoring?

minearc-systems-connecting-guardian-faq-infographic

MineARC’s GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring is designed to provide real-time monitoring, communication and diagnostics of refuge chambers while in standby and during an emergency.

GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring is an independent system that continuously inspects all vital refuge operating systems. During standby mode, the system checks for component faults and monitors refuge chamber usage or entry to the chamber.

Click here to download our quick reference infographic

1. How does it with our IT infrastructure?

For clarity, we’ve broken this question into three parts: the physical connection underground, connecting GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring to the surface and setting up the HTML webpage.

Connecting GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring will require collaboration between the IT and underground communication departments. MineARC’s Engineering Team is available to assist with set-up and troubleshooting.

1.1 How to Physically Connect GuardIAN to the Underground Network

A typical example is connecting GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring to the network switch.

The network switch is located in the chamber where the chamber controller, phone, camera, Aura-FX Digital Gas Monitoring and Compressed Air Management System (CAMS) connect to it, and then the greater network through an RJ45 connection.

  • If your site has LTE, a combination of physical connection and Wi-Fi access points or fibre channel these can be converted to Ethernet RJ45 to be compatible with the GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring system. This can be provided by MineARC during consultation before deployment.
  • If your site does not have a nearby physical network or underground communications MineARC offers GuardIAN Comms System, a coaxial cable able to carry both power and data.

It’s recommended GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring be connected to its own VLAN to avoid conflicts and isolate the refuge chamber network from general data traffic.

1.2 Control Room Connection: Refuge Chamber Monitoring from Above Ground

To access GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring from the control room, permission needs to be given from the above ground network.

1.3 Setting up the GuardIAN Web Interface

Out of the box, GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring is setup with DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) which assigns IP address on the network automatically. It’s setup like this so that it doesn’t conflict with any exiting address on site, rendering both devices unusable.

However, for a number of device management purposes, many sites will require static IP addresses. Each GuardIAN installed refuge chamber can be configured with a static (permanently assigned) IP address.

If the block range is known, IP addresses can be easily configured by MineARC, which is organised in the prebuild process. Meaning they are reading for connection prior to delivery. Alternatively, they can be configured your sites IT department.

2. Does it need the internet?

Simply put, no. GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring can operate locally without the internet.

But, accessing a secure internet connection will allow additional features including push notifications, updates, and video calling through the VOIP Phone inside the refuge chamber.

3. How is the system hosted? What needs to be installed?

What makes GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring different from other software applications is that it does not need users to install equipment on the server.

GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring has its own internal server, which allows it to self-host the local website. 

The printed circuit board (PCB) is specific to each chamber, houses the embedded server and some key input and output connections (I/Os). This collects data from each system within the chamber, interprets information and displays the results on the user-friendly interface.

4. How can I view the webpage on my device?

Once it has been set up you GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring can be viewed via smartphone, tablet or computer.

Simply type Guardian-(chamber number)/ into the URL bar.

The entire interface is through the HTML web server hosted at each GuardIAN PCB and embedded server. As such, the overview tab is important to navigate through all chambers that are equipped with GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring on the local network. Within each chamber, each tab will display component specific information.

The home page is a snapshot of all the chambers available on the VLAN. Each chambers name is displayed alongside its alarm status and IP address. From here you can navigate to any chamber within the sub-network .



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