Exciting updates on Astrocast user platforms

16 March 2023

At Astrocast, we aim to provide our users, customers, and the IoT community with all the resources to integrate Satellite IoT into existing or new IoT devices. A consequence of this effort is our Astrocast Docs website and the continuous updates to our customer portal. To make things easier for IoT makers, this blog will walk you through the latest user platform updates and point you to the right place to find all the resources you need to integrate Astrocast into your solution. 

Astrocast Docs: how-to guides, API reference, example code and more  

Astrocast Docs is an online documentation library containing technical information on using Astrocast’s products & services, such as Quickstart guides, datasheets, Serial commands definition, and examples of codes on Git for various micro-controllers (Arduino, MicroPython, STM32, etc…). Astrocast Docs aims to enable engineers to carry out their prototyping and develop autonomously and efficiently their own IoT projects with a single source of information and minimal external support.

To provide the latest information that our users frequently search for, we continually update Astrocast Docs. We recently performed significant updates to our user platforms and content, including a home page optimization of Astrocast Docs and new pages and features, keep reading to find out about our latest releases! 

New “Register Devices” page   

Until recently, Astrocast users had to buy their devices directly from Astrocast. In this case, their devices were automatically linked to their user account in the Astrocast portal. But thanks to our technology partnerships with IoT connectivity platforms like Soracom and hardware distributors like Mouser ElectronicsAstrocast’s satellite connectivity modules can be directly bought from a third party. When you do so, it is necessary to register the devices purchased on the Astrocast Portal to access our satellite network. The new “Register Devices” page on Astrocast Docs provides a step-by-step guide to successfully registering your device in the portal. 

New “AirTime Billing” page 

Astrocast’s data plans come at a very affordable price range and adapt to a variety of use cases, so users are never tied to one single data plan. For now, we offer a combination of five standard plans, adapted to an expected volume of data transmission by modules that are in operation, covering 1, 5, 15, 30, or 60 KB per month per module.  

What also makes our pricing model highly competitive is that Astrocast’s technology automatically selects the best, most cost-effective standard plan based on your data consumption at the end of each month and applies it to customers’ billing. Therefore, customers can benefit from moving between plans month-to-month, without needing to invest time in calculating the usage of different end-users (modules) in different industries. No fee is applied for switching between those standard plans, allowing users to control their spending more easily. 

This flexibility means customers don’t have to pay for more data than they’re using. The new “Airtime Billing” page on Astrocast Docs helps you understand our pricing model better.  

New “Coverage & Market Access” page 

This page was created to respond to one of our users’ most frequently asked questions: in which countries is the Astrocast service available today? The “Coverage and Market Access” page on Astrocast Docs is continuously updated, as and when new countries open up to Astrocast’s commercial operations. 

Astronode visualisation with Altium Viewer 

It is now possible to visualise on Astrocast Docs the 3D models of the Astronode S and Astronode S+ modules with Altium Viewer. The Astronode S+ even comes with full PCB schematics and BOM (Bill Of Materials), and STEP files are also available for download. 

The Astronode S, a compact surface mount module for highly integrated, battery powered IoT systems 
The Astronode S+, a certified industrial satellite communication device, ready to install and connect. 
The Astronode S+ view of full PCB schematics and BOM. 

Updated “Satellite Passes” page 

Satellites are constantly moving around the globe, and they are not always available over your location for your device to communicate. However, there are certain periods of time during the day, when the satellite passes over your location, and it is in an optimal position to establish contact with your device. These windows of contact opportunities are called satellite passes. 

For existing Astrocast users, our Astrocast Portal now has a new revamped “Satellite Passes” page, that allows our users to view the satellite pass opportunities over any preferred location on the globe.

To access this feature, login Astrocast Portal with your credentials and simply type in the name of the location, zip code, or geo-coordinates in the search bar to access the upcoming satellite passes.

For more information about the Astrocast Satellite IoT solution, you can also check the following resources: 

Astrocast FAQs 
📚 Astrocast Docs 
💡 Astrocast GitHub 
🔗 Astrocast API 
📺 Astrocast 101, a series of videos to help you connect your IoT solution to the Astrocast IoT network and guide you through the Astrocast suite of products and services. Watch the playlist on our YouTube channel. 

Taking IoT Assets further with Astrocast  

To take your IoT strategy further, discover Astrocast’s flexible SatIoT service by joining the Astropreneur Program today.