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Found 5 results

  1. Nadine Cranenburgh

    Satellite communications for IoT

    Introduction Traditional satellite solutions for providing a communications backhaul are obviously applicable for applications involving remote sensors, Defence, tracking across wide geographic areas including oceans, as well as developing solutions for global supply chains. In remote areas, terrestrial communication technology connectivity for IoT devices can be largely absent or very expensive. Existing data communication satellites (eg. Iridium and Globalstar) are a solution, but can be expensive, limiting the number of sensors that can be deployed to relay data, and how often data can be sent through IoT. The biggest cost of space communication technology is infrastructure: of building and launching a traditional satellite. This expense is passed on to the consumer through the high price of satellite data. A more task appropriate option in the process of being deployed is the use of nanosatellites. Nanosatellites Nanosatellite constellations have the potential to provide a lower cost satellite communications option for low-power, small-data IoT systems, particularly in terrestrial communications blackspots. The end-to-end solutions required for large-scale deployment of low-cost nanosatellite IOT communications are still in the evolutionary stage, but a number of companies are scheduled to launch the first nanosatellite systems in early 2018, including South Australia based companies Myriota and Fleet Space Technologies. Nanosatellites represent the current trend in space technology towards cheaper, smaller and faster to build systems. The CubeSat standard for nanosatellites was developed in 1999 by Stanford University and Cal Poly. In the past fifteen years, CubeSats have been used in universities for numerous projects which engage people to use satellites. This big change in the satellite community has been driven by new technologies, like the miniaturisation of electrical components, PCBs, manufacturing and 3D printing. These technologies have meant that it is possible to now build a very small spacecraft with the same capabilities as a big one. The CubeSat is 10x10cm and can be constructed into modules up to 30x40cm. They generally have a mass of less than 50kg. Cubesat nanosatellites are still expensive to build and operate (over 1 million $AUS), but much cheaper than their larger counterparts. Advances in space technology Advances in commercial space technology such as micro and nanosatellites as well as low-cost commercial rockets with payloads capable of deploying multiple micro or nanosatellites in a single launch are being developed by companies such as New Zealand’s RocketLab and have the potential to bring the cost of the technology down even further. The recently established Australian Space Agency is also likely to open increased opportunities for Australian industry and Defence to become more involved in establishing micro and nanosatellite networks for IoT communications in applications such as Defence. Nanosatellites are usually launched into space via rocket as part of a bigger spacecraft launch. However, some companies are now building dedicated launchers for nanosatellites, which also has the potential to make nanosatellite communications for IoT a more economical option. Nanosatellites vs geostationary satellites Nanosatellites are launched into low earth orbit (LEO), rather than geostationary orbit. One example of a large geostationary satellite is the NBN Sky Muster satellite which has constant data coverage over the Australia continent. Nanosatellites cover a much larger area of the earth than geostationary satellites, but there is a latency of between 30 seconds to 30 minutes, depending on how close the LEO nanosatellite is to the ground station. This makes nanosatellite communications unsuitable for GPS tracking applications, although the development of triangulation geolocation techniques to provide this data are underway. Constellations of multiple nanosatellites also reduce latency. Geostationary satellites are suitable for GPS applications and big data IoT solutions. Commercial nanosatellite applications Commercial applications of nanosatellites include satellite imagery services, weather prediction, ship tracking as well as IoT data. South Australian company Myriota produces low-cost IoT modem technology for use in remote areas. This technology communicates via nanosatellites, although Myriota do not deploy their own satellites. Fleet Space Technologies is launching the first two of a 100 satellite constellation at the beginning of 2018, with the aim of being online by 2022. These constellations will provide a free data via a global backhaul service for industrial users of IoT. Once the constellation is online, users who buy sensors, gateways and terminals from vendors providing products containing the Fleet communications chip will be able to operate them without ongoing satellite data costs. Satellite vs terrestrial communication While launching a communications satellite is much more expensive than building a terrestrial base station, satellite communications provide much wider coverage. This means that the overall cost of coverage is greatly reduced, although the initial infrastructure outlay is much higher, as shown in the diagram below. Diagram courtesy of Flavia Tata Nardina, Fleet Space Technologies Satellite communications are also a more effective solution for coverage within oceans and remote areas. Latency Initially, nanosatellite solutions will have a slow latency, with only a few passes per day providing the opportunity to upload data. This means that it will not initially be feasible to develop real-time solutions using this technology. However, as more satellites join any given constellation, the latency will drop to minutes or conceivably seconds. Sources The information on this page was primarily sourced from: Webinar titled Satellites and the new industrial frontier – how new space technology is intersecting with the Internet of Things by Flavia Tata Nardina, Co-founder and CEO, Fleet Space Technologies Webinar titled ‘Defence Next Generation Technologies: Driving Innovation in Defence’ by Dr Alex Zelinsky AO, Chief Defence Scientist, Department of Defence.
  2. Morteza Shahpari

    A whitepaper on NB-IoT

    Dear all, IEEE Communication Society just published a whitepaper from Anritsu about the NB-IoT. It is entitled "NB-IoT: Characteristics and Considerations for Design and Verification." It can be downloaded from here: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/1787693/A92FD100BE9027E11FE04351AFF340DB I believe it might be of interest especially for those active on the communications sides of IoT. They don't have a strict sharing policy, so I attach the document here. Kind regards, nbiotwhitepaper1530112129543.pdf
  3. Two-way communication in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) is automatically better than one-way communication, surely? Not necessarily, according to the presenter of our next webinar on remote sensing. In fact, there are cases where one way sensing is a far superior approach, such as most metering applications. In preparing for this webinar I met with Mark Halliwell, Business Development Manager at Taggle Systems. In discussing Taggle’s approach to IoT, their decision to focus on one way sensing really stood out. The reasoning is pretty simple. There are many applications where you simply don’t need two way communication and having it introduces more complications than any benefits it might bring. For example security is much simpler with one way communication as there is no way an external attack can be launched on a device via the network. Secondly, power consumption is much less, as the device does not have to be constantly listening out for messages. There are many other nuances in the one-way vs two-way debate, which Mark will address in the webinar. But one other feature of the Taggle system really stood out. Unlike most other LPWAN systems out there, the entire technology has was developed in house, here in Australia. This is not surprising when you look at the pedigree of the founders, which includes the developers of the world’s first 5GHz WiFi integrated circuits. Image: Taggle's MRC-1 transmitter designed for use with the most common water meter in use, the Elster V100. Curtesy Taggle One thing for sure is that competition in the automatic meter reading industry is rapidly heating up, with just about every IoT vendor and LPWAN consultant pitching to gain market share. This is particularly so in the water industry which is opening up rapidly with utilities across the country and globally rushing to capture the benefits of IoT, which include everything from cost reductions in meter reading to deferment of capital intensive investments in upgrading water infrastructure. With such competition, it’s no longer enough to simply offer IoT solutions. They need to be superior to other IoT solutions and this is where Taggles believe it has an advantage. By developing the technology in-house, from the chip level up and focusing on the one-way approach, it is able to optimize the solution at all levels. Taggle has made a big bet on the question of one way versus two way communication and it appears to be paying off. Mark claims they have the largest IoT deployment in Australia, currently taking over 3 million water meter readings per day. The company has also embraced the growing “as a Service” movement, by owning and maintaining its own LPWAN network so the customer only pays for the data and associated services rather than owning its own communication infrastructure. Software packages are provided that process the data for reporting and visualization purposes, including apps for end users. A great case study on a Taggle deployment at Mackay Regional Council (MRC) was reported in Utility Magazine, which featured some impressive results, way before the term IoT became trendy. In 2016, a demand management campaign coupled with the Taggle system saw individual consumer water consumption in Mackay reduce from 240L/d to 210L/d, contributing to the estimated deferment of a new water treatment plant from 2020 to 2032 and helping hold price increases to zero. In that same year, around 1500 lead notifications were sent to customers and reducing the average duration of a leak from 150 days to 60 days. Of course there are many other applications of IoT technology in the water industry, such as monitoring and reducing excessive pipe pressure, reducing pumping costs, preventing sewer overflows, identifying infiltration of the system . I wrote up a good case study earlier on what South East Water in Victoria is doing and this this explores some of these areas in more detail.
  4. Arthur Baoustanos

    Optus has taken a step towards 5G

    Optus laying the foundation for 5G, launches 4.5G network across Macquarie Park, achieves testing throughput speeds of 1.03Gbps by utilising 4.5G technologies of 4CC/5CC Carrier Aggregation,4x4MIMO and 256QAM Optus has taken a step towards 5G, switching on 4.5G network services across the suburb of Macquarie Park, Sydney’s hi-tech innovation district, north-west of the city. For more, read the media release: https://media.optus.com.au/media-releases/2017/optus-launches-4-5g-network-across-macquarie-park/
  5. Launceston will be covered by an Internet of Things (IoT) network after the Tasmanian government committed $100,000 to fund a city-wide LORA network. The network will consist of approximately 10 base stations, each with a maximum range of about 20 km. Project partners include UTAS, the CSIRO, Sense-T and Definium. More info at http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/releases/launceston_leading_nation_with_new_network
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