An investigation on applicability of Wireless Sensor Network in Underground Space Monitoring and Communication Systems
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An automated underground space monitoring and communication system based on the integration of new technologies is introduced to promote safety and health, operational management and cost-effectiveness. In response to these challenges, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have been widely employed in underground monitoring and communication systems for the purpose of environmental monitoring, positioning of workers and equipment, operational monitoring and communication system. In this study, common WSNs are evaluated for application in underground excavations and demonstrated why ZigBee network performance is suitable for such environments. ZigBee radio waves attenuation is investigated to evaluate stable communication distance between ZigBee nodes at straight and curved tunnels in a real mine scenario. An experiment in a deep Australian underground mine also was performed to prove reliability ZigBee applications in such environments. The proposed system integration considering wireless sensor network (WSN) assisted geographic information system (GIS) enables to monitor and control underground environment attributes. ZigBee nodes were developed to sense environmental attributes such as temperature, humidity and gases concentration; switching ON and OFF ventilation fans; and texting emergency messages. A trigger action plan for monitored attributes above normal and threshold value limits is programmed in the surface GIS management server. The system will provide multi-users surface operation and 3D visualization for realistic understanding of underground environment and miners’ conditions.
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