Data Networks for Tunnels


NS50_Front_LRThe demand to better manage tunnelling activities  has seen the requirement for high quality  connectivity increase rapidly over the past two decades.  Over this period MST has been developing the communication backbones to support this demand, based on the general industry trend to IP based networks.  Hence MST developed its Wi-Fi/Ethernet platform for tunnels and mines to realize the benefits of the convergence of these digital technologies.

The result is our ImPact Network and associated applications to provide a reliable, mobile and high bandwidth data communications structure that withstands the hostile underground environment.

Importantly, the network installed to provide this high bandwidth connectivity also allows for voice communication via our  VoIP MinePhone.


MST’s ImPact tunnel communication system is a high bandwidth, network to support the large data requirements of modern nines, in a single IEEE 802.11 compliant backbone.  This open connectivity allows data hungry applications such as video, RFID Tracking, remote control, mine automation systems and underground Fleet Management Systems (FMS) to be supported by a single network.

Our design focus on the ability of our infrastructure to be quickly and simply deployed and maintained by non-expert personnel is what our customers most appreciate. Our systems are particularly well recognised for their ability to automatically self-configure new installations or replacement equipment.

This is best represented by a core component of the network, our NS50 Wireless Network Switch (pictured above).  The NS50 brings together two Wi-Fi Access Point radios, four 1 Gb fibre optic switches, and four PoE ports into a single, small housing that operates from 10-48 volts DC.  Traditionally this type of flexibility and switching power would have required several devices installed in a large cabinet, with 110 volt or 240 volt AC power supplied to every cabinet.  This, obviously, is totally impractical for use in the underground mine environment as the total cost of ownership would quickly add up.  Our ImPact network and devices eliminate or greatly reduce these issues and provide a very cost effective way to take your WLAN IP network underground.

See below for more on Data Communication solutions or contact us for more information.


Vehicle Intelligence Platform (VIP)

VIP Data Logger/Wi-Fi BridgeApart from providing mobile  voice communications in the tunnel,  and tracking of people and equipment, the network established for these requirements can also support our VIP System.

VIP is based on installing a Data Logger/Wi-Fi Bridge module onto TBM’s, Road Headers, locomotives, trucks, or loaders, to log and stream in real-time critical parameters to better manage the use and maintenance of these machines.   Depending what on-board diagnostics is installed on these machines, the VIP unit simply interfaces to those outputs, logs them, and streams them via the ImPact Digital Network to the surface whenever in range of an access point.  This data can be such things as:

  • TBM operating parameters
  • Engine temperature and revs.
  • Load data in loaders, skips, etc.

More relevant to delivering value to the tunnelling operation, this basic data can be analysed and reports created to quickly identify bottlenecks or in efficiencies in the tunnelling system.  An example being accurately recording cycle times for load & dump cycles and raising alerts should any cycle go outside of pre-determined averages.

For more information on VIP please refer to:


Wireless Repeater Node (WRN)

WRN: Wireless Repeater Node

WRN: Wireless Repeater Node

The WRN is the missing link in the communications industry’s arsenal. Fully developed by MST, with patent pending, the WRN the world’s lightest, most portable, most reliable and most cost effective Mobile, Self-meshing Access Point.  Intended for the ad-hoc extension of a the existing Wi-Fi network into the most hazardous and developing environments, the WRN leverages IoT to create a more comprehensive data highway.

  • Extends existing Wi-Fi network, maximising data retrieval and leveraging IoT
  • Wireless Meshing allows full Wi-Fi connectivity without any power or data cables
  • Portable and light weight with multiple mounting and antenna options for unprecedented flexibility of use
  • Intrinsically Safe
  • Lachlan Wheel ensures simple, safe battery change out
  • Dual battery system allows “Hot Swapping” of batteries and no downtime!

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