Iridium Partner Conference 2014 Highlights

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Several new products were announced at the recent 2014 Iridium Partner Conference: Iridium GO!TM, the satellite provider’s first global portable satellite hotspot that provides voice and data coverage for personal devices when they are out of range of cellular networks, Iridium BurstSM, a new service that makes it possible to transmit data to many enabled devices simultaneously, and Iridium Pilot® (Land Station), a terrestrial base station that offers broadband communications to users in off-the-grid locations.

Other interesting developments include the NettedTM Iridium concept – a multi-user voice and data handset with less than two-second push-to-talk capability.

All new, as well as existing, Iridium products help Iridium to work towards its goal of providing ‘truly global communications’. Similarly, the Iridium NEXT mission to fully replace its LEO satellite constellation – we’ll see the first launch in 2015 – will seek to provide more bandwidth and higher data speeds, support more powerful devices, and enhance Iridium’s ability to meet expanding demand for terrestrial, maritime and aviation communications.

For more information on our Iridium product catalogue or our solutions powered by Iridium visit our website or contact sales@wi-ltd.net.

Resolving the Data Communications Challenge for Water and Wastewater Service Providers

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Water is a prerequisite to life on this planet. The provision of water to homes and businesses as well as wastewater treatment is also essential. In fact, water utility companies need to provide billions of litres of fresh water to residential and commercial customers and to recycle equal amounts every day. As a result, water and wastewater service providers are under more pressure than ever to improve operational efficiencies. There is one key area in which improvements can be made and that is effective monitoring and control of water production and treatment assets and other remote sites.

Increasingly, such sites are found in remote parts of a country, particularly as demand for water is increasing. Similarly, the infrastructure required to deliver water to users and to take it away for treatment must cross challenging terrain. The equipment needed to manage this infrastructure and the various water plants needs constant supervision. This equipment generates significant volumes of data that must be recorded and conveyed to operations centres in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the cycle and to enable action to be taken in the event of any problems that might emerge.

Effective monitoring and control of such assets requires complete visibility. One type of monitoring system that is frequently deployed is known as Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition, or SCADA. Often within a SCADA system there will be wireless telemetry media that transmit data gathered by equipment sensors via radio, cellular or satellite networks. For water and wastewater plants in remote locations, the most successful way to convey this critical data to operations centres is via satellite. The VSAT, or Very Small Aperture Terminal, is particularly suitable for deployment in remote monitoring applications. This is because it is optimised for low-bandwidth, two-way data transmission – in other words, the kind of data that is conveyed in SCADA and Telemetry applications.

The TSAT3000 is a variant of VSAT that has been further optimised for mission critical communications, offering a private satellite communications network, in water and other utility industries. For this reason it is the ideal choice for SCADA and Telemetry applications in water and wastewater plants.

Wireless Innovation can deliver complete, turnkey solutions for all satellite communications, such as the TSAT3000, involving SCADA and Telemetry systems.

To find out more about our products and solutions for utilities, please contact us.

Satellite solutions for Solar Resource Assessment

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Finding a suitable location is one of the biggest challenges in the renewable energy industry. For a solar installation to be successful it has to deliver a consistent and reliable supply of energy and in order to do this it must be situated in exactly the right place. To justify the investment that a solar thermal power plant requires, developers need detailed knowledge of the environment as well as data on the performance of installation equipment.

Since these sites are often in remote and inaccessible desert locations, data gathering stations have to be designed to withstand harsh conditions; they need to be robust, efficient and low-maintenance. It’s impractical and hazardous to retrieve data manually so measurement stations also need to provide reliable and secure remote connectivity, ensuring data can be collected and equipment monitored.

To provide the reliable data backhaul required for a recent solar energy assessment project developer organisations need a robust satellite, such as the MiChroSat 2403 solution from Wireless Innovation. MiChroSat 2403 is an Iridium based solution that provides secure, reliable satellite connectivity in places where GPRS coverage is poor. It’s a flexible and programmable solution that removes any reliance on the existing terrestrial infrastructure. MiChroSat 2403 allows data logging solutions to be deployed in remote and hostile locations, seamless integrating with data loggers to provide secure, reliable connectivity over the Iridium satellite network.

Wireless Innovation’s extensive experience in renewable energy and detailed technical understanding of the entire infrastructure ensures customers receive a complete end-to-end solution. So, instead of agonising about the challenges of installing a renewable energy resource, why not take advantage of our ‘solutions without strings’ approach?

The challenge of remote locations for the Renewables Industry

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Many Renewable Energy generation sites for both Wind and Solar farms tend to be in remote or hostile locations. There are many challenges in providing data backhaul from such sites, whether the sites are in the development or deployment stages. Wireless Innovation has deployed full end-to-end solutions for Renewable Energy sites in over 100 countries, working with equipment manufacturers and electricity generation companies alike.

As the deployment of renewable energies grows, so does the investment. Billions of dollars are currently being invested in a range of new and innovative technologies designed to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and carbon related sources. For investors it’s a high-risk strategy as many of these new technologies are yet to be proven. While the potential dividends from a successful trial are massive, the sums involved are huge and the potential losses are significant. So what can investors and manufacturers of renewable energy devices do to lower that risk?

One of the most important stages in a renewable energy deployment is the feasibility stage. Unlike traditional energy sources, renewable sources cannot be relied on to provide a consistent and predictable energy output. This is the same for most renewable sources. Solar energy can be affected by cloud cover and other high level weather conditions. Tidal energy suffers from similar problems; output can be irregular and unpredictable. Wind energy is subject to the random fluctuations of cloud and air pressure patterns. All of these things make the location and efficiency of renewable installations quite unpredictable. This is where the resource assessment stage is critical.

Resource assessment is a preliminary stage designed to assess the average potential output of a renewable energy site. Trial equipment is located at the prospective site and regular measurements are taken of that site’s potential energy output. It’s a long and complex process. The measurements are sometimes taken over a period of months and years and there are significant challenges to face in accessing suitable locations, wind resource assessment for example may require a company to monitor numerous hilltops and offshore sites.

Remote telemetry systems are essential for this stage of any renewable energy project. With a remote telemetry system, data can be collected and transported by radio, GSM or over satellite using the Inmarsat BGAN network. It is a safer and more cost effective way of planning the renewable economy and is essential to the successful deployment of renewable energy sources.

Start making the most of M2M – Short burst data transceivers

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Short burst data (SBD) satellite transceivers, as defined by Iridium, are perfect for integration into complete wireless solutions and can be used for a wide range of applications in numerous markets. Designed to be scalable and to work anywhere in the world, SBD transceivers are generally small and light and don’t cost the earth. They provide critical global data communications necessary for global solutions.

SBD modems are used for sending and receiving short data bursts, generally less than 2 kilobytes at a time, and are most often used in applications that require low data rate or ‘heartbeat’ communications. They can connect to a global mobile satellite communications network and therefore work almost anywhere on the planet, with no expensive roaming charges that you may expect from a cellular network.

These factors make SBD transceivers ideal for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions such as offshore and onshore asset tracking, monitoring and control, automatic vehicle location, telematics, alarms, and more.

However, companies that operate such monitoring, tracking and control systems may not be getting enough from their current solution. They may be limiting the role of their M2M solution by, for example, not upgrading the transceivers, or they may not have invested in M2M at all. It is critical that organisations have real-time data and control over essential infrastructure and remote assets, today more than ever. A secure and robust satellite solution will help organisations achieve this goal while reducing costs attributed to creating new communications infrastructure.

Low data rate satellite transceivers such as the Iridium 9602 SBD Transceiver are essential to monitoring, control, and tracking M2M solutions. The Iridium 9602 can be easily integrated into M2M communications solutions and can take advantage of the Iridium SBD service. From pole to pole a device working with the Iridium SBD will always be connected.

The combination of Wireless Innovation’s expertise in tailoring solutions for customers’ specific challenges and our broad range of products creates a wealth of possibilities to extend and enhance M2M deployments. Why not talk to us to see how we can help you make the most from your satellite M2M investments?