Getting started with satellite connectivity
We have a huge amount of respect for the developers, educators and enthusiasts who utilise our services for creative and often unique applications. We’re proud that we’ve helped hundreds of academic research projects and hobbyists take their first steps connecting devices via satellite.
From schools using smart buoys to help contain oil spills, to launching high altitude balloons into space; sending autonomous boats across the oceans to piloting drones beyond visual line of sight – Ground Control’s reliable, robust, well-priced solutions make pole-to-pole connectivity possible.
Introducing the RockBLOCK range
Probably the best entry level product Ground Control has to offer hobbyists and educators is the RockBLOCK range of products: the RockBLOCK 9602 MK2, the RockBLOCK 9603, designed for smaller enclosures, and the fully waterproof and robust RockBLOCK Plus.
The RockBLOCK products are compatible with Arduino, Windows, Mac and Linux computers, including Raspberry PI, and many other platforms with serial or USB ports. They connect users to the Iridium Low Earth Orbit satellite constellation, allowing coverage anywhere on Earth.
Why work with Ground Control for your satellite connectivity needs?
Fully featured APIs
Utilising satellite-enabled devices, journalists are able to work effectively and safely, at all times no matter where the story takes them.
Live tracking data
Cloudloop, our online platform, provides the facilities needed for you to efficiently manage your fleet, monitor alerts from devices, setup geo-fences to provide early warning if a device has gone inside/outside a certain area etc.
If you're testing a concept and / or only need a small number of devices and airtime, we've got you covered. We have a line rental and credits-based option which means your costs are completely transparent and can't exceed your limits.
From the home of the RockBLOCK in Southampton, UK, to our US headquarters in Atascadero, CA, wherever you are in the world, you'll be able to speak to one of our expert team to get the support you need for your project.
You'll find plenty of people developing and sharing code around the RockBLOCK series of products, in addition to our own extensive developer docs. That means it's very easy to get your project satellite-enabled.
IoT data security is an increasingly hot topic, so it's good to know that Ground Control offers several options ranging from firewalls to VPNs to completely private networks to ensure your data is only passed to authorised end points.
Pole to pole coverage
The Iridium satellite network, which the RockBLOCK products utilise, gives you truly global coverage. As long as you have a clear view of the sky, you will be able to send and receive data, irrespective of weather conditions.
Get inspired by these creative projects
November 12, 2019
Maker Buoy utilises RockBLOCK for communications
Ground Control Partner Maker Buoy has developed a new populated board to get people up and running using the RockBLOCK 9602/9603 quickly for offshore buoy telemetry applications.
August 15, 2021
Epsom College and the Microtransat Challenge
Epsom College are competing in The Microtransat challenge and are trying to build a robot boat that can sail from England to America autonomously. It has been attempted approximately 25 times by Universities, Businesses and Individuals; however, it has never been completed.
August 3, 2021
Kraken – Ocean Drifter Buoy
‘Kraken’ is a project by Sutton Grammar School. The main concept behind the buoy is its primary use as an oil response system. The system is based around an oil response unit that aims to make it easier for oil companies to clean up spills quickly and effectively.
LOHAN – High-Altitude Rocket
LOHAN is a madcap project involving using a high-altitude balloon to launch a glider to the edge of space then have it released from the balloon and navigate itself down to a designated landing spot. The unit needed a way to communicate when out of normal GPRS coverage.
July 21, 2021
Space-Bound Instrument Packages
Edorado High School sends instrumentation packages, called Eagles, to the edge of space and transmits back temperature, pressure, and GPS data, as well as live video. In all, twenty different data channels are telemetered back to ‘Mission Control’ in the classroom.
If you need any help...
If you prefer, you can purchase the Rock series of products directly via our website, and then register the device / purchase your airtime when you're ready; it's completely possible to self-serve.