Over the next 5 years, nearly 6 million devices will require satellite Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications. From strain gauges on bridges, to soil acidity sensors, to seismic monitors, or GPS on shipping containers, the ubiquity of the Internet of Things cannot be realized without satellite communications.
Each small, low-cost nanosatellite we add to our network continuously decreases latency and increases throughput.
A constellation of polar communication satellites enables truly global coverage.
Low-cost, low-power, and small form factor user hardware
Imagine a world where you knew the exact position of your recent online purchase from its point of departure in Shanghai to arrival at your doorstep in New York. Now consider a world in which every one of the more than 50 million parcels that are shipped each day are tracked. This type of mass information would greatly improve the logistics of shipping companies, reducing delivery times, and improve fuel efficiency. It also has the potential for providing information on package damage en route, or environmental conditions for temperature-sensitive medical devices.
By 2050, the 9.6 billion people inhabiting this planet will require an estimated 70% increase in food production over current levels. With limited arable land available, this nearly $5 trillion global industry will necessitate substantial improvements in crop yield per acre. Farmers already collect and utilize large quantities of data for improving crop yield; weather data, machinery or animal health, and soil samples all work to improve yield while reducing waste. Sensors for livestock can provide information on reproduction events or health disorders, equipment monitoring sensors can enable predictive maintenance, and spatially distributed soil sensors improve fertilizer utilization and reduce water usage.
Intelligence traffic management, improvements in safety, and infrastructure maintenance monitoring can all be facilitated through globally distributed sensor networks. In the United States alone for example, traffic causes nearly 4 billion hours of travel delays, nearly 3 billion gallons of gasoline, and equates to 80 billion per year in losses. Remotely distributed traffic sensors can not only aide in smart traffic management, but also better identifying when maintenance is required on the nearly 60,000 structurally deficient bridges in the US.
The opportunity for satellite M2M technologies to fundamentally reshape remote operations is astounding. Wearable technologies such as temperature monitors can improve personnel health & safety. GPS sensors can offer a recourse for theft of large assets as well as improved operational efficiency through logistics management. Sensors for fuel level monitoring, oil pressure & temperature, or usage monitoring can improve predictive maintenance cycles, which reduce asset downtime and increase lifetime.