Controlling remote assets with SatIoT: the importance of bidirectional communication

19 May 2022

3 min read

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Up until now many organisations – including Systems Integrators (SIs) and their end users – have struggled to create and / or support the business case for deploying IoT solutions that can offer comprehensive global coverage, as well as efficient and reliable connectivity and two-way communications between assets and command centres. Thanks to Satellite IoT (SatIoT), there is now an opportunity to use this technology to increase visibility, transparency, and control over assets globally. Moreover, the potential for use cases across an array of sectors is almost limitless but requires the right SatIoT technology and integration.  

In the past, these types of IoT solutions have typically been complex, costly, or unavailable. Due to developments in SatIoT technology, the mindset is changing. Organisations that recognise the potential of going beyond terrestrial IoT will be able to create new competitive advantages too. What is more, working with providers that offer and enable bidirectional communication between devices and assets presents a game changer for many industries and use cases. So, what is bidirectional communication and why is it important? 

Sending commands to assets 

Two-way communications between assets and their command centres is essential and bidirectional IoT has a significant role to play today. Traditionally, many assets in the field would have only had the capability to send data back to command centres about their status.  

However, the ability to send commands back to assets, rather than just receive data from them, is hugely powerful and enables an array of new use cases, including remote management of equipment. For example, it enables farmers to command silos to release food, open gates or manage irrigation systems, without any need for expensive and often hard-to-source human interaction. Utilities companies can remotely control water management systems in line with flood prevention strategies. With information seamlessly integrated with existing analytics, AI, or machine learning solutions, organisations have the power to use this data to improve understanding, and direct actions of remote assets. 

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Extending device life in the field 

Aside from using bidirectional communication to send commands to assets in the field, it can be used to provide equipment with remote upgrades and security patches, therefore extending device life in the field. Bidirectional communication can also be used to confirm that data transfer has been achieved. For example, cargo owners can gain confidence in the integrity of cargo within shipping containers, with the ability to re-transmit information if a confirmation has not been received from a high value container.  

Conclusion 

The full value of an IoT deployment can only be achieved if the solution exploits data. Today, the benefit that bidirectional communication offers organisations is powerful as it allows companies to not only receive information from assets, but also to communicate and control them appropriately. All this is made possible thanks to the latest generation of SatIoT –  which is available at a price point today that presents new business opportunities to SIs and their customers. But, the challenge is to achieve integration without compromising performance or undermining the business case for IoT. 

If you’d like to find out how to develop a compelling IoT business case to support your IoT operations, take a look at our Astropreneur Program and get in touch today.  

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