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SIAMnet Interactive

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The SIAMnet is a communication system designed for underground mines allowing people and computers to communicate with each other. The transmission of radio waves is negatively impacted by the small tunnel sizes in mines and performance quickly deteriorates. The SIAMnet distributes the radio wave signals throughout the mine and reestablishes communication among users whether they are located at the surface or underground.Two-way voice communication was the primary use for a communication system prior to the introduction of computers into mines. Nowadays, data communication is of utmost importance as it is used for process control, ventilation on demand, blasting systems, seismic activity monitoring, tagging, emails, Internet and a number of other applications.

The SIAMnet is well suited to answer those needs due to its high data communication capabilities.The system is easy to configure, install and service. It is based on the cable television standards and is the most cost effective system when it comes to data communication for mining.

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SIAMnet Infrastructure



The SIAMnet is a Distributed Antenna System, based on the CATV standards and utilizes commercially available components. It uses coaxial cable to transport the signal throughout the mine. Splitters are then used to divide the network into branches and to feed antennas or network devices. High frequency 800MHz radio signals propagate better into tunnels than lower frequency VHF. Antennas are also shorter and their installation is non-obstructive.

Omnidirectional antennas are installed at tunnel intersections and cover 360 degrees. Directional antennas cover a single tunnel but at an increased distance. These antennas are used for simultaneous voice and data communication. Since the radio coverage is provided by antennas and not by the cable, the cable may be protected using conduits or shotcrete. The system is more reliable since incidents do sometimes occur in a mine. Amplifiers are installed at predetermined distances to compensate for cable losses and they are powered from the cable. There is no need to install a separate AC power line.

The basic SBDA 2 amplifier operates within the 800MHz LMR band and supports the voice and mobile data communication. The add-on CMA/SDA companion module operates in the cable modem band, below 200MHz, and supports high speed data communication and video. The SDA circuitry provides diagnostic and remote configuration capabilities.

Voice Communication 

The SIAMnet supports multiple simultaneous conversations, up to 32 channels. It is compatible with either the analog or digital 800MHZ communication technologies. There are two types of radios that can be used with the system: mobile radios for vehicular applications and portable radios for personal use.

The system may be configured to operate in a conventional mode or the more powerful trunking modes. Trunking allows a large number of user groups to share the system and is not limited by the number of voice channels. It is a much more efficient method of using the same infrastructure and therefore increases the overall effectiveness of the system. Trunking allows private conversations between users no matter where they are. A telephone interface may also be provided so that users can receive or place telephone calls outside of the mine.

More Details

  • 800 MHz frequencies propagates better and further into undergound mines tunnels than VHF and UHF.
  • Analog Two-Way radios with up to 32 simultaneous conversations.
  • Conventional or Trunking systems at the surface or Underground.
  • Digital 800 MHz radio using the P25 universal protocol.
  • Telephone Interconnect permiting receiving or making external calls.

SIAMnet Diagnostic System

The SIAMnet Diagnostic System (SDS) allows for the configuration, monitoring and troubleshooting of the SIAMnet from a distant location. It consists of the SIAMnet Diagnostic Manager (SDM) software, the SIAMnet Diagnostic Gateway (SDG) and each amplifier is equipped with the SIAMnet Diagnostic Adapter board (SDA).

The SDS is an excellent diagnostic tool which ensures the SIAMnet is running at its optimum level at all times. The technician uses the SDS to configure the amplifiers according to the mine setup. Should a change be required, the amplifiers can be re-configured or troubleshot from the surface or any another remote location, without having to travel to the mine. Technical support from Laird can also be provided through the SDS.

More Details

  • Web based application accessible anywhere from the Internet.
  • Configuration, Monitoring and Calibration of every amplifier from a network station.
  • Alarm management provides real time messaging should a failure occurs anywhere on the network.
  • Local access from a serial port at the amplifier.

Vehicular Communication System (VCS)

The Vehicular Communication System or VCS, provides data communication between a centrally located computer server and mobile units such as loaders, trucks or drills. The system consists of a master radio modem installed at the head end of the SIAMnet communication system and slave radio modems installed on vehicles. The data may consist of Ethernet or serial data packets. The Ethernet and serial ports may be used concurrently on a first come first served basis.

The slave radio modems may be configured with two antennas. Such configuration eliminates the dead spot phenomena and provides continuous, error free communication wherever the vehicle is in the mine. The system is capable of half duplex 100Kbps, which is more than enough for mining applications.

High Speed Data Communications

The cable modem technology is used by cable television companies to provide high speed Internet to their TV subscribers. Laird uses the same technology to provide high speed data to underground users. It is an extension of the customer network (LAN) into the mine. Business and process application software may be implemented without bandwidth limitations.

The system consists of a Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) installed at the head end of the SIAMnet communication system and cable modems installed at specific locations into the mine. The SIAMnet provides up to five physical networks, administered separately and independently from each other. This ensures that sensitive process control applications are protected from unauthorized entry.

The SIAMnet support all DOCSIS 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0 North American as well as European standards. A channel provides 25MBPS in both directions therefore a SIAMnet is capable of 125MBPS total. Locally, a cable modem may be hooked up to a Wi-Fi Access Point and connect wireless computers to the network. It can also be wired to a switch and connect multiple computers and devices to the network.

High Speed Data Communications

Mobile Data Communication

  • 800MHz High speed data communication between the vehicles and the central computer.
  • Three communication ports per radio Modem; Ethernet: 1.5Mbps, Async 1 & 2:115Kbps
  • Single or dual antenna models
    • The dual antenna radio modem provides uninterupted communication while under a dead spot.
    • The second antenna may be used as a backup providing redundancy in mission critical applications.
  • Buffer memory, the data is memorized until it can be transmitted.
  • Robust and watertight enclosures.
  • 24vdc or 110/220vac models available.
  • Diagnostics leds ease troubleshooting and indicate system status. 

High Speed Data Communication

  • Cable Modem Technology extending the mine Ethernet network underground.
  • DOCSIS 1.x and 2.0 standards. Will support DOCSIS 3.0 as it becomes available (160 Mbps).
  • SIAMnet supports multiple Downstream and Upstream channels. The number of channels depends on the DOCSIS standard in use at the mine.

    See table below:
    DOCSIS .1
    EuroDOCSIS 1.1
    EuroDOCSIS 2.0
    6 X 30=180MBps
    6 X 30=180MBps
    5 X 40=200MBps
    5 X 40=200MBps
    10 X 10=100MBps
    5 X 20=100MBps
    17 X 10=170MBps
    9 X 20=180MBps

Head End

The SIAMnet head end is where the voice repeaters, aster radio modems (mobile and high speed), telephone interface, diagnostic gateway, video receivers, etc. are located and interconnected. The head end is installed in a central location either above or underground. The SIAMnet cable is laid out in a star or daisy chain configuration from the head end to all the tunnels requiring communication.


  • WIFI Access points enabling mobile computing (Laptop, PDA, telephones).
  • VOIP telephones, hardwired or wireless
  • IP Cameras providing real-time images to every network users.
  • Tagging systems permitting the identification of the last area employees were located before an emergency.
  • PLC and other Automation systems including Remote I/Os.
  • Any Ethernet based applications are supported.