Recent developments in wireless data transmission from IoT sensors and utilisation of LTE alongside other mobile communications show integration is currently very much the watchword
IoT-focused wireless transmission technology launched at Hannover Messe
The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) launched MIOTY, a miniature wireless transmission technology aimed at industrial internet of things (IIoT) applications, at Hannover Messe in April.
“The technology guarantees interference-resistant wireless data transmission for several hundred thousand sensors, and reception across several kilometres at a gateway,” IIS said.
MIOTY uses an asymmetrical transmission method using scores of simple sensor nodes and a complex receiver, which can handle a large number of simultaneous and robust transmissions. The low-power wide area network has a transmission range of up to 15 km and a battery life of up to 20 years, IIS claims.
Network density of Fraunhofer IIS’s technology can be gradually increased with additional sensors, and a software-based technology approach means it can be used in conjunction with various hardware components, such as sub-GHz transceiver chipsets.
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute has incorporated MIOTY into its standardisation for low-throughput network protocols for radio interface A. This provides a recognised basis for users to develop new technologies and services and ensures that different IIoT systems and solutions can interact with each other.
Lord launches two new wireless OEM sensors
North Carolina-based Lord Corp has added two wireless sensors to its product lineup.
The new sensors are the TC-Link-200-OEM and the SG-Link-200-OEM models, which will allow OEMs to incorporate wireless data collection into their product “without worrying about signal condition and radio design”, said Lord’s product manager for sensing Chris Arnold.
The TC-Link-200-OEM, which has already been used for monitoring fuel-cell condition on electric vehicles, is used for collecting data from several temperature sensor types including thermocouples, resistance thermometers and thermistors. The sensor was developed for use with temperature probes and includes cold junction compensation for thermocouples and linearisation of all temperature measurements. It supports high-resolution, low-noise data collection at rates of up to 128 Hz.
The SG-Link-200-OEM is intended for use with strain gauges and has also been used for monitoring mining equipment. It can collect data from sensor types including pressure transducers and accelerometers as well as strain gauges. It includes onboard shunt calibration and supports high-resolution low-noise data collection from one differential and one single-ended input channel at sample rates up to 1 kHz. Lord said the sensor is ideal for torque-sensing applications due to its digital input allowing compatibility with a hall effect sensor for reporting RPM and total pulses.
Lord said both wireless OEM sensors are well-suited for battery operation due to their compact size and potential for low-power operation.
ETELM calls for integration, not just interconnection, of Tetra and LTE
Barriers preventing deployment of LTE could be removed by using an integrated, rather than interconnected, solution with terrestrial trunked radio (Tetra), said ETELM's director of sales and marketing, Nicolas Hauswald, at Criticial Communications World 2018 in Berlin.
Tetra is a global standard, established initially in Europe for digital trunked radio, often used in public safety networks, transport services and the military.
“There are many challenges to overcome when looking at ways to connect Tetra and LTE users, including performance, features, interoperability, management, maintainability, security and costs of operation,” Mr Hauswald commented. “These challenges are creating barriers for users to deploy LTE.”
Comparing the two systems, Mr Hauswald noted that while Tetra is a widely deployed proven technology that works in lower bands with good coverage and lower costs, LTE allows for more bandwidth and “opens a new world for applications”, especially in light of the establishment of new LTE mission-critical standards by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
“By allowing Tetra and LTE to interwork in a unified way, the integration is not limited to the application layer and for optimum performance and maintainability, base stations from both technologies are connected to a single core and a single database,” he said. “All the switching intelligence is centralised and both technologies appear at the radio level. In addition, all interfaces are standardised.”
Benefits of adopting an integrated, rather than merely interconnected, system, he argued, include “centralised management, improved PTT set-up times, reduced recurring costs, interoperability and compliance, improved network performance compared to multiple networks, unlimited intertechnology communications, extended life of legacy user equipment and network security.”
Mr Hauswald said ETELM's 4GLinked system integrates Tetra and LTE in a single-core, single-database solution. “The solution provides seamless interworking between broadband and narrowband solutions in full compliance with 3GPP LTE and MC standards, and fully integrates Tetra base stations to the LTE Core – providing a single network solution for all secure voice and data communications,” he said.
Globecomm launches high-throughput, low-cost roaming service
New York-based Globecomm has launched Globecomm Roam, a high-throughput, low-cost cellular communications service in more than 140 countries.
The system offers 3G, 4G and LTE services at speeds up to 100 Mbps and bundles a cellular modem, global roaming SIM card and maritime antenna to enable connectivity up to 30 miles from shoreside cell towers. The cellular modem supports more than 15 different cellular frequency bands, including 3G and LTE standards. It includes two SIM card slots and two connections for cellular antenna.
The Roam system is designed to interface with Globecomm’s Nimbus management smartbox, which the company said allows for easy changeover between satellite and cellular services. L-Band users benefit from the lower cost of cellular communications, while VSAT users benefit from the ability to use cellular connections in case of line-of-sight interruptions, Globecomm said.
The Nimbus system offers a number of benefits for operators. The Nimbus Switch system is able to automatically switch to cellular service when coverage is available, providing a low-latency, high-bandwidth connection, while Nimbus Secure keeps all of the ship’s network encrypted and uses shipside and shoreside firewalls to protect data.
The Roam service is offered to customers via a range of monthly bundles, with cellular consumption limited depending on the monthly fee.
Shipznet offers maritime-focused GSM services
Wentorf, Germany-based Shipznet is a new company offering high-speed mobile broadband services specifically aimed at the maritime sector, with seawater-resistant hardware and flexible options.
The company said their large-contingent flat-rate data tariffs do not incur extra roaming costs in coastal waters or harbours and their managed-service concept includes hardware, technical support, web portal access and an optional crew solution.
The 4G technology used by Shipznet is called long-term evolution-advanced (LTE-A) and allows for super-fast connections to the mobile network, with up to 300 Mbit/s download and 50 Mbit/s upload speeds.
Two seperate modems allow the use of a wide range of frequency bands to ensure a stable connection and a newly developed saltwater-resistant radome antenna is used to connect to the network.
Shipznet's system allows for data-heavy applications such as software updates, electronic chart display and information systems, remote maintenance, crew communications and video conferencing to be used over a near-shore connection.