IoT (internet of things) has become a massive buzzword over the past few years, as more and more devices exchange data. In a majority of cases these devices can use land-based networks, such as GSM or LoRa, but a significant number of projects need to get data back from remote areas, where satellite is the only option. There are a number of satellite communications solutions offering IoT capabilities out there – so what are the benefits of choosing an Iridium/Ground Control product?
Truly Global Coverage
Iridium’s 66 satellites orbit the Earth at a low altitude, allowing for global coverage that includes the poles. Because of their low altitude they move in the sky, going from horizon to horizon in a matter of minutes. Thanks to this satellite ‘movement’, you’ll always be able to transmit as long as your device has a view of the sky. It’s a reassuring fact when you or your device are tucked away in a deep valley or traversing the polar regions – in a deep valley, for example, you would just wait a few moments until an Iridium satellite came into view and you could then transmit your message.
In contrast, geo-stationary satellites are always ‘fixed’ at a certain point in the sky. If you wanted to place a sensor in a valley, and your sensor’s view of a geo-stationary satellite was blocked by a mountain, you’d never be able to transmit.
Global Communications Protocol
For two decades, the oil and gas, maritime, rail, aeronautical, and energy industries, as well as government and defence, have been exchanging mission-critical data with the help of Iridium’s short burst data (SBD) service. Iridium SBD will continue to be the backbone for IoT in the most remote parts of the world, where information can be sent and received in a stream of data packets of up to 340 bytes each.
Iridium’s ‘NEXT’ constellation complements SBD with high-speed broadband. It also ensures that Iridium’s satellite network and services have another 15+ years of guaranteed longevity – something that gives you confidence if you’re planning a long term deployment of remote sensors.
Off-the-Shelf Technology = Rapid Deployment
Rock Seven (now trading as Ground Control)’s products and APIs let you quickly enable satellite communications on a variety of popular hardware and software based devices. In fact, the record for someone receiving their RockBLOCK to transmitting their first message successfully stands at just seven minutes.
Many of our customers use an off-the-shelf Arduino or Raspberry Pi as the heart of their project, whilst others use more industrial and heavyweight PLCs. This is important for enterprise customers that want to keep costs down for hundreds or thousands of units and for small businesses, researchers, and even hobbyists who want the lowest possible development costs for just a few units.
Personal and Rapid Customer Support
Iridium partners with value-added resellers (VARs) like Ground Control who package all the required hardware and software into a solution for you, the end customer. That means your questions will be directly answered by knowledgeable, real people, rather than by a generic scripted helpdesk. We’re experts in Iridium solutions and will always be able to help you find a solution to your remote data needs.
Do you want to learn more about how our SBD-enabled devices can help you and your organization communicate, coordinate, learn, or stay safe? Contact us.