Satellite Provides Monitoring Connectivity

November 08, 2013

Tracking equipment and vehicles can help improve the outcome of construction projects. By keeping tabs on the location and status of vehicles, managers are able to monitor their usage, prevent downtime, and ensure vehicles are being used in the most efficient way possible.

Many tracking solutions use cellular technology for communications, but in some cases that option might not always be available. For projects where vehicles sometimes venture outside of cellular coverage, satellite solutions offer a good alternative.

Navman Wireless USA, www.navmanwireless.com, Glenview, Ill., recently introduced a new satellite communications option for it OnlineAVL2 fleet tracking platform. The product provides tracking of heavy equipment and vehicles and is designed for industries such as construction, surface mining, mining, and oil and gas exploration. In all of these cases, assets may enter remote locations away from cellular towers.

A modem installed in the vehicle provides connectivity. The device plugs into the serial port on the Navman Wireless Qube or Qtanium GPS tracking devices. The system switches between cellular and satellite connectivity depending on which is available, and it makes use of the Iridium, www.iridium.com, McLean, Va., satellite network.

In addition to location data, system users have access to engine alerts, which are enabled by information from sensors monitoring components such as coolant, transmission, and air filter status, which are connected to the GPS tracking device.

Navman says the solution can minimize data charges by only transmitting data that is critical via satellite. For instance, users can choose to only receive alerts on emergency conditions such as panic messages, rollover alerts, engine overheating, and speed or geofence violations. Other information can wait to transmit until the vehicle is back in cellular range.

Satellite connectivity provides an option that ensures information can reach project managers even in remote locations. This is not only helpful for making sure vehicles and equipment are operating correctly, but it can also promote worker safety. Connectivity offers workers a link back to the central office in case of emergency.