it-iQ remote telemetry systems take advantage of the latest wireless communication systems to create integrated environmental data collection solutions. The most effective wireless communication technologies for environmental data include cellular telemetry. it-iQ is a leader in wireless solutions, providing a full range of capabilities to its customers for fast, simple and cost-effective data collection from remote locations.
Wireless Options in Environmental Monitoring Applications
Wireless communication architectures are simple. They include a modem on each end that emits or receives a defined radio frequency (RF), and an antenna. Since radio waves or signals exhibit very different propagation characteristics depending on their frequency band, engineers design radio systems to take advantage of these characteristics.
Factors to Consider
In addition to frequency band and modem output power, there are a few other factors to consider that influence the optimal range of communication.
One is “line-of-sight” which means one antenna must “see” the other, without obstructions. Line-of-sight is not mandatory, but when available, greatly improves performance and range. This is especially true with higher radio frequencies where signal strength is reduced from obstructions such as walls, trees, foliage and concrete and eliminated with metal objects or structures.
Positioning, gain, antenna tuning, atmospheric conditions, time of day, ambient frequency, noise, and terrain are also important variables affecting RF signal and communication range.
The Cellular Infrastructure
All analog and digital mobiles use a network of base stations and antennas to cover a large area. The area a base station covers is called a cell; the spot where the base station and antennas are located is called a cell site. Cell sizes range from 1 Km to 50 Km in radius. GSM use much smaller cells, no more than 10 Km across. A large carrier may use hundreds of cells.
Each cell site's radio base station uses a computerized 800 or 1900 megahertz transceiver with an antenna to provide coverage. Each base station uses carefully chosen frequencies to reduce interference with neighboring cells. Narrowly directed sites cover tunnels, subways and specific roadways. The area served depends on topography, population, and traffic.
Advantages to Cellular Telemetry
- Low profile, non directional antenna
- Easy to set up and low maintenance costs
- Two-way communications
- Event notification by pager, Internet, other cell phone, etc.
Disadvantages to Cellular Telemetry
- Requires cell phone coverage area
- Monthly service fee (may vary depending on local area cell phone service provider)
- Cell phone service provides may change cell towers or communication protocol, thereby effecting communications to your remote location
- Connection may be dropped during peak cellular transmissions activities
- Much better reception can be obtained by adding a directional antenna.
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Telemetry is the highly automated communication process by which measurements are made and other data collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring. The word is derived from the Greek roots: tele = remote and metron = measure. Systems that need external instructions and data to operate require the counterpart of telemetry, telecommand.
For more information about Telemetry, please contact us.