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March 25, 2017

RockBLOCK Support for ThingSpeak Announced

Rock Seven (now trading as Ground Control) has added compatibility with the ThingSpeak Open IoT (internet of things) platform for its RockBLOCK portfolio of plug-and-play two-way satellite communications systems.

Enabling users to aggregate, visualise, and analyse live data streams in the cloud, the combination of RockBLOCK and ThingSpeak will enable significant time and cost efficiencies for scientists and organisations deploying remote research and monitoring stations anywhere in the world.

With RockBLOCK providing a low-cost satellite data link and ThingSpeak’s ability to negate the need for an organisation to buy and manage its own servers, databases and associated infrastructure, the whole scientific process from data collection in the field and transmission through to analysis and communication of results can be significantly streamlined and automated. Data is transmitted direct to ThingSpeak servers via RockBLOCK, where users can access it using a sophisticated toolset that enables effective management and dissemination of the data.

With the ability to execute MATLAB® code in ThingSpeak, data can be quickly analysed and processed as soon as it arrives in the cloud. Storing data in the cloud provides easy access to data and using ThingSpeak’s online analytical tools, it can be easily explored and visualised, enabling faster discovery of relationships, patterns, and trends in data. Within ThingSpeak, data can be converted and combined, and new data can be calculated then visualised in plots, charts, and gauges. ThingSpeak also schedules calculations to run at certain times and enables data to be combined from multiple channels to build a more sophisticated analysis.

Before this, the innovative RockBLOCK system provides highly reliable delivery of the data from anywhere in the world. The system has been embraced by science and research users at sea and on land because of its low-cost, straightforward approach to adding data connectivity to almost any research platform or commercial product. It interfaces seamlessly with all mainstream computing platforms from Windows, Mac, and Linux through to the new breed of miniature computing hardware such as Arduino™, Raspberry PI™ and Intel Edison, which are widely used to power distributed scientific and environmental research nodes located in remote regions.

“RockBLOCK is the ideal complement to the ThingSpeak platform,” said Nick Farrell, Director, Rock Seven (now trading as Ground Control). “Together, they create a very low-cost yet powerful solution to collect data from remote locations, analyse it using industry standard technology and finally act on it through the use of automatic alerts or social media postings. While RockBLOCK is taking care of the connectivity side of remote monitoring, integration with ThingSpeak enables users to deliver data directly to the cloud and manage it quickly and securely”

ThingSpeak is compatible with the entire RockBLOCK portfolio, including the brand-new RockBLOCK 9603, an even smaller variant of the sophisticated RockBLOCK MK II solution. Thousands of RockBLOCK systems already provide machine-to-machine (M2M) data communication over Iridium’s global satellite network for thousands of professional users at sea and on land, in addition to providing a low-cost data link for private users in the burgeoning ‘maker community’.

Find out more about the ThingSpeak platform at