E.g. telemetry, sensor data. A few bytes to a few kilobytes.
For low volumes of data, messaging services are highly cost effective. (If you’re not familiar with messaging services, it’s not dissimilar to how SMS works but over satellite). You should investigate Iridium SBD and Inmarsat IDP for critical applications, or cubesats.
E.g. audio, images, log files. Kilobytes to a few megabytes.
E.g. video. Megabytes to gigabytes.
If you need to transmit high volumes of IoT data, it’s worth exploring Starlink or VSAT solutions.
Great, edge computing, reporting by exception and condition-based logging will help reduce the amount of data you need to transmit, potentially opening up messaging services for your application.
If it’s essential that your data is delivered in close to real-time, you need to consider the network maturity, visibility and latency. Iridium-powered devices have the lowest latency and the broadest visibility. Inmarsat BGAN M2M and ScadaSAT by TSAT also offer very low latency and very high reliability of data delivery.
If you can wait for your data (i.e. store and forward), you can optimize your delivery, and look at networks that have fewer satellites in orbit (newer LEO constellations like Swarm, for example).
If you operate national critical infrastructure, you may need something with zero reliance on public infrastructure. Have a look at the SCADASat, which gives you a private satellite network.
You’ve got more options as your antenna can be pointed at a fixed point in the sky, opening up geostationary services like Inmarsat. If your location is heavily wooded and hilly, a low earth orbit service like Iridium may be better as satellites are passing constantly overhead.
You either need an auto-pointing device to connect with a geostationary satellite (such as Inmarsat) or – and it’s usually a better option – an omni-directional antenna which speaks to a satellite constellation in low earth orbit (such as Iridium) which will retain constant contact with your things as they move.
Only established low earth orbit satellite constellations work well in the polar regions so you’re looking at Iridium.
How we Connect Customers with Your Data
Want to browse products? Head to our IoT product pages. Not sure what you need for your project, or want to talk through your options? We are a passionate team of entrepreneurs and engineers, we’ve worked on thousands of satellite IoT projects – we’re happy to talk about your project.
Once you’ve selected your preferred device, you’ll need airtime. We offer a credits-based pay-as-you-go system designed for proof of concept trials, as it keeps costs highly predictable and controlled. We also offer some of the best-priced airtime rates for Inmarsat and Iridium available today.
All of our customers gain free access to Cloudloop. This is our network-agnostic, developer-friendly, subscription, device and data management platform. Integrate directly into your eco system or consume the data via a customer-friendly, data rich UI. Or do both – you choose.
What our customers do with our hardware genuinely inspires us. Most applications involve some sort of sensor, a processor to read data from the sensor, and Ground Control providing data transmission. The possibilities aren’t quite endless but they’re not far off!
Feature development is customer-led, so if you’re not sure if our devices can deliver what you need, talk to one of our support team and we’ll see what we can do.
Worried about the cost of your satellite IoT connectivity? We get it – satellite has a reputation for being expensive. It’s different with Ground Control, though. We design and build our own devices, so we keep a firm grip on costs without compromising on quality. We have some of the lowest cost airtime service plans available. And with Cloudloop, you can set up alerts if any of your devices are over-spending, and even automatically deactivate them.
IoT / M2M Connectivity Case Studies
Finding optimum oil and gas sites with 40Geo drifting data buoys
40Geo captures geographical information from hard-to-reach areas with drifting data buoys to aid decisions about when and where to situate oil and gas operations. Using the RockBLOCK 9602, the team can extract close to real-time data under any circumstances, unaffected by location, weather or cellular coverage.
Satellite-Enabled Tsunami Early Warning System
As a critical communications network, there was never any question that ASC’s early warning system would need to utilise satellite connectivity, both for the coverage requirements and network reliability. Commercial terrestrial power and communications networks tend to perform poorly in a disaster – either through overuse or damage to their infrastructure.
Facilitating Renewable Energy with RWE
RWE is one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, and operates 5 hydroelectric stations in Wales, UK. This is an area of significant rainfall, which can lead to damaging and dangerous floods. But with enough advance warning, RWE can harness this rainfall and use it to supply more renewable energy to the grid. This is how satellite connectivity made that possible.
How RockBLOCK helps deliver medical care via drone
Cancer patients on the Isle of Wight, located just off the south coast of the UK, sometimes experience issues in receiving their chemotherapy treatment. Transporting the chemotherapy via drone – using the RockBlock technology – reduces the transport time to 30 minutes.
Environmental Monitoring and Reporting
A Government Agency responsible for coastal, stormwater and catchment management has assigned Ground Control customer Obscape to assist with reporting on areas such as – monitoring and reporting on catchment management, flood risk areas, storm drains and drainage ditches with the aid of the RockBLOCK.
Preventing Illegal Deforestation
The world’s two largest rainforests, the Congo Basin and the Amazon, are under threat from illegal extraction activities. Unfortunately, authorities have long lacked the means and mechanisms to deal with these illegalities which destroy ecosystems and undermine both forest and indigenous people’s livelihoods.
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