Refuge chambers or emergency shelters are heavy duty steel boxes constructed to withstand overpressure of 15 PSI without deformation; each of these chambers is typically comprised of a small airlock chamber and a main chamber, capable of housing up to 20 or more people working in hazardous settings/industries such as underground mining. In the event of an unforeseen disaster caused by fires, floods, rock-falls, or explosions, these chambers, equipped with life-support systems that stay online for several days even when cut off from the main air and power supplies, are the last resort to which everyone involved would escape.
Challenges / Requirements
A company specializing in providing shelter monitoring and communication solutions came to Lanner looking for a hardware solution that could be relied upon for running the aforementioned monitoring and communication systems intended for refuge chambers.
Their requirements are as followed:
- Must be industrial-grade
- Must be preloaded with an OS
- Must have appropriate I/O for IP cameras, VoIP and sensor/detector connectivity
Lanner’s LEC-7242 was eventually selected as the one Edge hardware platform that fulfills the aforementioned requirements. The LEC-7242 is an industrial environment gateway IPC powered by the Intel® Apollo Lake CPU. This wireless gateway is FCC/CE/PTCRB certified for LTE or WiFi, and is designed for IoT/IIoT Edge, wireless security and multi-site management solution deployments.
The LEC-7242 integrates Quectel LTE EG25-G, Quectel LTE EG25-G and Sparklan WiFi WNFQ-262ACNI for cellular communications. Its 168 x 40 x 145 mm form factor makes it portable and ideal for almost all deployment scenarios and its x86 open architecture enables flexibility for carrying out various software and virtual network functions.
When and if trapped inside a refuge chamber for days on end, everyone relies upon not only the knowledge that all is well within chambers (for their peace of mind) but also conditions outside; all measurement collected and analyzed by a functional monitoring system must be accurate, reliable and be presented as visually understandable metrics on a display panel, in real time, in case anyone does decide risking leaving the safety of their temporary shelter; the aforementioned demand is met as a proprietary connectivity manager with WiFi client can be installed and run on top of the LEC-7242‘s preloaded Linux Debian 10.
The LEC-7242 enables environmental monitoring for variables such as levels of CO/CO2/O2, methane and hydrogen sulphide gases, as well as temperature, humidity and pressure, via gas detectors and air pressure sensors enabled using Modbus RTU protocol and the LEC-7242‘s RS232/422/485 COM port.
Furthermore, the LEC-7242‘s dual RJ45 ports deliver 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet connections for two-way VoIP communication and IP-CAM live-streaming that shows the living and health conditions of those inside the shelter.
In conclusion, the LEC-7242 is the ideal IIoT assurance platform for mission-critical network communications; its seamless integration with Lanner LIOS delivers on this customer’s promise on making available an emergency shelter monitoring system with plug-and-play installation, deployment, connectivity and fast TTM. The resulting refuge chamber monitoring system ensures that all diagnostics and real-time metrics are easily accessible through a secure, locally hosted interface that is compatible with any PC and portable device.