How to Connect Refuge Chamber Monitoring [Infographic]

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About this Article
An easy to follow guide on how to install and connect GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring with IT equipment on site.
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Addressing key questions on the installation of MineARC Systems GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring (GuardIAN RCM)and how it can integrate with IT equipment on site.

As underground mine sites and tunnelling projects 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’s GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring is designed to provide real-time monitoring, communication and diagnostics of refuge chambers while on 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.

Stage 1. How does Refuge Chamber Monitoring fit 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 RCM 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 sites network switch.

Sites connection point to the chamber is located at the back of the VOIP Phone via an RJ45 connection. Access can be gained through the Comms Box at the rear of the chamber.

  • 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 RCM 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 RCM 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 set up with DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) which assigns IP address on the network automatically. It’s set up 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 RCM 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.

See if your site is ready to install and connect GuardIAN RCM

Would you like to install GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring to refuge chambers at your site/ project?

Take the simple questionnaire to the right to fast track the process and start seeing results. 

Approx. time to complete: 2 mins 

Do you have GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring and want to get it up and running?

Get GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring connected and start saving time and money. 

Take the simple questionnaire to the right to fast track the process and finalise the process. 

Approx. time to complete: 2 mins 

Seeing the Benefits First Hand: Thunderbox Underground (Thunderground) Mine

GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring Enhances Emergency Response Management

Des Koh, Underground Manager, used GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring (GuardIAN RCM) to account for the safe location of all personnel on-site during an incident.


  • Surface coordination of the emergency response plan is aided by information received from GuardIAN RCM.
  • Significantly reduced the time required to account for all people in safe zones, as video footage provided facial recognition, further confirmed through radio contact.
  • Provided peace of mind to personnel within the refuge chamber; knowing management was aware of their location. Demeanour in radio communications was calmer and more direct compared to previous incidents.
  • Removed unnecessary communications over radio, which is often scratchy, freeing channels for emergency comms and quicker response times.
  • Sites ability to return to normal working conditions, once the hazard had passed, improved.

Thunderbox is currently implementing the full GuardIAN Intelligence Network.

GuardIAN Refuge Chamber Monitoring Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

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.

How is the system hosted?

GuardIAN RCM 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.

How can I view the webpage on my device?

Once set up, 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 webserver 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.

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.

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