Seems like every time a SmallSat Symposium attendee turns around, identical verbiage is heard from most of the subject-matter experts regarding the smallsat market segments — “Exciting.” The same holds true for Rajesh Suseelan the Senior Director of Strategic Business Development at ST Engineering iDirect. He acknowledges there is a lot of competition in this area, but that’s what is driving technological innovations.
Connecting “things” to the internet, real-time monitoring, all actions that enabler users to act on the information immediately, that’s IoT, he said. He noted that IoT is impacting the bottom line for the end-user. Key use cases are especially relevant to satIoT where proactive monitoring of conditions is needed. Such uses range from transportation and logistics to the real-time tracking of assets, environmental monitoring for air and water quality, smart energy, mining, construction and location tracking, agriculture, cattle tracking, farm automation and maritime monitoring for buoys and vessels and fishing reports and so on.
Process and productivity improvements are among the biggest benefits that are derived from monitoring. With terrestrial-based IoT, however, there certainly are challenges, such as a lack of regional connectivity. It’s also unreliable — and what happens if something needs to be monitored and there is no power with which to accomplish that task? Deployment can also be difficult and sending someone out to correct a problem or make system changes is not always easy to accomplish.
This is where satIoT is a boon to users. In spite of cost being a factor currently, with the build up of IoT constellations, that may well be a concern relegated to the past. Mr. Suseelan did warn that not all IoT services are identical. The satIoT service should be examined for connection availability, data aggregation and delivery speed as well as reliability.
SatIoT is certainly coming into its own across a broad range of services and 2021 should witness a huge increase in its acceptance across the globe.