M2M, Telemetry or SCADA applications for oilfield equipment, pipeline control, Cathodic protection monitoring, tide gauges, waste water systems, compressors, generators and a host of other types of industrial devices, creates the need for reliable communications to those devices on a global basis. While terrestrial communications offer connectivity to populated regions, it is satellite communications that organizations turn to when terrestrial services are unavailable, or when a consistent global communications solution is desired.
A primary benefit of using satellite communications is the ability to have data communications virtually anywhere on the globe. Terrestrial communications are primarily driven by the need for people, rather than devices, to communicate and thus they are prevalent in populated areas. When it comes to communicating with a compressor or generator in the middle of nowhere, you are less likely to find terrestrial data communications. Satellite communications provides communications in remote regions where industrial equipment is deployed.
In addition to global coverage, other benefits of satellite communications include:
Some satellite technologies provide the ability to broadcast messages (point to multi-point) across a fleet of devices. This can be beneficial for applications that require simultaneous synchronization across remote devices, e.g. close all valves now, as opposed to terrestrial links where routing paths can cause differences from milliseconds to seconds in remote devices receiving commands from a SCADA host application.
Terrestrial communications are often compromised by natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes or man-made issues through inadvertent error. If your industrial equipment is deployed in an area known for poor weather, or if you want an ensured emergency backup option, then satellite communications may be the logical choice for you. With satellite communications, you can deploy omni-directional or tracking antennas that will ensure communications when radio or cell towers are down or if fiber lines have been severed.
As a general rule of technology deployment, the more consistent you can maintain your deployments, the simpler and less expensive it will be to manage that technology on an on-going basis. Satellite communications provides you with an option of one communications technology that can be deployed on a global basis. Rather than building radio networks, or worrying if cellular coverage does or doesn’t exist in a given area, with satellite communications you can utilize a single technology to be deployed and managed regardless of where your remote equipment is deployed.
In some industries, such as oil and gas, a lot of the equipment deployed into the oilfield will move from site to site on a regular basis. Keeping track of that equipment or routing equipment to the next closest job site can be accomodated through satellite communications. Many of the satellite modems used for telemetry include GPS tracking capability allowing either regular GPS reports or the ability to demand poll a device to find its current location.
Building radio networks or negotiating with telecom companies to add cellular towers or fiber lines are all time consuming tasks. With satellite communications you can leverage existing infrastructure rather than building terrestrial infrastructure. That means you can deploy your systems faster and not have the burden of on-going management of a radio network since the satellite network is managed for you. By simply subscribing to the appropriate service you can accomplish your SCADA or telemetry communications needs faster with satellite communications.
Several of the satellite communications options for telemetry or SCADA can also support telephone or video communications. Should you have technical staff travelling to sites for maintenance, a satellite communications system can provide telephone service for safety or to communicate with head office to discuss technical issues relevant to the site visit. Beyond that, field staff can be deployed with video cameras and via a satellite system they could relay video back to head office to enable engineering or management teams to help in assessment or resolution of issues at the remote site.
Our BGAN service provides simultaneous voice and broadband data communications globally from small and lightweight satellite terminals.
Connect your BGAN terminal to a portable PC or smart device using Standard IP to access the internet for applications such as web browsing and email, or choose from a range of guaranteed Streaming IP rates to meet all your data, voice and video needs.
BGAN is accessible via a range of small, lightweight satellite terminals, which provide performance options to suit different operational needs.
The smallest terminals are designed to suit single users. The larger terminals offer a WLAN capability and are particularly suitable for small teams that need to establish a temporary office for an extended period. They are also suitable for users requiring higher bandwidth to enable applications such as live broadcasting.
Simultaneous voice and data
A single BGAN terminal provides simultaneous voice and broadband data up to 492kbps, enabling you to access the internet or send email, and talk on the phone at the same time.
BGAN is available across the globe, with the exception of the extreme polar regions, providing connectivity wherever your business or operations take you.
BGAN services are delivered via the Inmarsat-4 network, with 99.9 per cent satellite and ground network availability and an operational lifespan expected into the 2020s.
BGAN meets military and government requirements for security and supports all major VPN products and encryption standards.
Supporting the latest IP services, as well as traditional circuit-switched voice and data, BGAN integrates seamlessly with corporate networks and legacy applications.
Streaming IP and BGAN X-Stream™
BGAN supports a range of guaranteed on-demand Streaming IP rates from 32kbps to at least 384kbps, and up to 450kbps with BGAN X-Stream™.
Easy to use
No technical expertise or training is needed to set up and use BGAN. All terminals are plug and play, so you can go online within minutes.
Most vehicular terminals comprise a roof-mountable antenna and in-car unit. Antennas are compact, relatively lightweight and discreet, so as not to draw attention.
The vehicular antenna can be permanently or magnetically mounted to the roof of any suitable vehicle, be it a truck, bus or recreational vehicle (RV).
The Hughes 9502 terminal delivers unprecedented access to the Internet. Ground-breaking technology enables this Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) satellite terminal with an Ethernet port to deliver real-time, high speed connectivity via low-bandwidth, machine-to-machine (M2M), SCADA, and IP signals at dramatically lower costs. End-to-end IP networking in remote locations that are completely off the grid has applications for industry sectors such as environmental monitoring, relaying data to sustain smart grid power distribution, pipeline monitoring, compressor monitoring, well site automation, video surveillance, and out-of-band management to primary site communications. Or, with this TCP-IP connection a person could download the Marx Brothers in “Monkey Business” to their laptop.
Low power usage is the key to the Hughes 9502 adaptivity. It requires less than one watt when in its idle mode and just three to four watts to power the Ethernet connection. Performance efficiency like that makes this terminal perfect for solar-powered remote stations with sensitive power budgets. The Hughes 9502 requires no special “wake up” procedure following prolonged idleness. Even a simple SMS text message from a cell phone will start it up from hibernation. Requiring such miniscule power makes this terminal ideal for automating smart grid data collection or tallying compressor efficiency and system integrity on a gas or oil pipeline. The Hughes 9502 makes credit card use viable for the restaurant at the end of the world, the one with the unique catch of the day, or it can deliver video surveillance data at speeds of 448 Kbps to monitor iceberg formation at the Store glacier in Greenland.
Capable of reliable data transmission between -40 and +70 degrees Celsius, the Hughes 9502 terminal is also designed to withstand winds of up to 100 mph. With its built-in GPS receiver, this model utilizes the three Inmarsat I-4 satellites, providing connectivity to any point on the globe except the extreme north and south poles. The availability of the I-4 system is 99.9%. Neither severe weather or man-made catastrophe affect its connectivity, which means, basically, you can send those cute pictures of your cat anywhere in the world right up until the robot says, “Klaatu Barada Nikto.” The network cost of data transmissions is extremely competitive compared to the price of saturated terrestrial cellular networks.