Real Case Study: Underground Mine
 
Reliable and Real-time WLAN Connection to an Underground Mine
     
At a Glance
 
Region: China / USA
Industry: Underground Mine
Challenge:
Wireless and real-time connection with full coverage from underground mine to surface control center
Moxa’s solutions:
• Wireless redundancy
• Turbo Roaming
• Outdoor rating
• Special RF band service
 
 








 
Overview
Underground mining operations require efficient and reliable mine-wide communication systems to maintain smooth operations and safeguard the safety of miners. Traditional wired networks are poorly suited for reaching all corridors of an intricate, multilayered mine network. Wireless LAN offers wide-range mobility, freedom from cables, and plenty of bandwidth, to create mining operations that run smoothly and can quickly recover from emergencies.
 
System Requirements
• Reliable WLAN connection with full coverage from the underground mine to
  surface control center in real time
• Operate in the 4.9 GHz band to avoid interferences
• Long range (over 1 km) data transfer to surface control room
• Video data transfer rate of 15 Mbps
• Designed for arduous underground conditions
 
System Description

An industrial WLAN system makes it possible to track miners and mobile equipment throughout a mine system, and also monitor different environmental conditions such as toxic gas, humidity, and fallen rocks using sensors.

The foundation of the system is several AWK-6222s’ with outdoor dual RF design installed as access points along the underground line, and connected to each other with Ethernet cables. One AWK-6222 is set up as an AP to communicate with the above-ground control room located one kilometer away from the mine entrance.

Mining operations include mobile machinery, such as mine wagons, large wheel loaders, and off-highway mining trucks. To wirelessly monitor and track this array of vehicles and equipment, each unit is fitted with one AWK-6222 configured as a client. They can connect to PLCs, GPS devices, and video cameras over cabled Ethernet using unmanaged EDS-205A switches.

Moxa's WLAN wireless products empower the mine system with exceptional wireless performance. Fast roaming allows seamless handover from one access point to another over wide areas. The AWK-6222 also features dual RF modules to provide the security of redundant wireless links, and the 4.9 GHz operation prevents possible radio interference.

Video surveillance is important due to the many possible blind spots at a complex mine site. A video data rate of up to 15 Mbps is required to guarantee that video data is transferred to the control center in real time.

 
Moxa Solutions
• IEEE 802.11a/b/g access point and client in one device
• High availability and WLAN redundancy with two RF modules
• Turbo roaming for seamless mobility
• Integrated wireless and unmanaged wired network
• Level 3 for high EMS
• Tailor-made RF band service
• -40 to 75°C operating temperature, IP68 rating, and up to 10 km data transmission
 
Product Offerings
AWK-6222
Outdoor Dual RF AP/Bridge/Client
WLAN standards: IEEE 802.11a/b/g
Fully redundant solutions:
• Wireless / Ethernet / power redundancy
Millisecond-level Turbo Roaming with multi-SSID
Smooth network traffic
Industrial QoS, VLAN, and up to 54 Mbps
     transfer rate
Interference-free solution:
• 2.4 and/or 5 GHz RF band
     • Level 3 EMS (e.g., EN60950)
     • Robust metal housing
Industrially hardened design:
• IP68 rating, -40 to 75°C operating temperature, and up to 10 km transmission
Mounting flexibility: Pole, DIN-Rail, wall mounting
AWK-5222
Indoor Dual RF AP/Bridge/Client
   
     
EDS-205A series
8-port Rugged Unmanaged Ethernet Switches
 • Configurable 10/100BaseTX and 100BaseFX
 • -40 to 75°C operating temperature
 • Dual redundant 12/24/48 VDC Inputs
 • C1D2/ATEX Zone 2 and DNV/GL ratings
 • Slim IP30 aluminum housing
 
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