Ethernet communication for detection of emergency locations and dynamic evacuation in underground infrastructures

Dipl.-Ing. Christoph Müller, Prof. Dr. Iuliu Szekely, Andreas Noack

OPTIM 2010 - 12th International Conference on Optimization of Electrical and Electronic Equipment


Underground infrastructures like tunnels and especially wide spread underground mines today are equipped with Ethernet based communication systems. These networks are used for the universal data, voice and video communication. As these networks stretch along the major tunnels and in increasing scale also into the production areas, a nearly full coverage can be reached. In this case, network cabling will be installed in nearly all tunnels. For wireless coverage, standard IEEE 802.11 WLAN accesspoints are being used. In order to provide a maximum availability and reliability, the active components are equipped with battery backup power supplies and the network infrastructure is set up in a redundant way using ring or meshed topologies. This provides a much higher availability and redundancy compared to traditional phone systems or dedicated data links using a conventional star topology. Distributed computing intelligence that is installed on active network nodes throughout the whole network, additionally supported by a central server system, creates the basis for new mine safety functions introduced in this paper. These new safety functions cover the detection of potential emergencies, using the status of the network as a “sensor”, as well as dynamically guiding people to safe exits or rescue shelters in case of an emergency. Furthermore, these functions are of important benefit for improving the efficiency of search and rescue operations following a major incident or accident under ground.

[Conference Link]

Tags: emergency, ethernet, evacuation, mining