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Tracking providers often highlight their versatility in getting data into their systems by accepting a wide variety of data formats and protocols from a multitude of devices. GSatTrack is no exception to this, allowing one to integrate hundreds of different device types under a single platform. The flip-side, however, to getting data into a singular system is often how one can get data back out of the system in order to integrate with legacy, compliance-related, or supplemental entities or services, in order to perform additional processing or auditing of some kind.
In simpler terms: How can I get my data back out of GSatTrack so I can do something else with it?
This is an aspect that other providers shy away from, often arbitrarily limiting access and export options to keep you locked into their platform. Our approach is different in that we want you to be able to get the most out of the data that you can for your business.
In the simplest cases, GSatTrack offers position and activity reports which support Excel and PDF exporting options. These reports can be run directly on the portal or scheduled to be emailed and are not limited in their export capability.How can I get my data back out of GSatTrack so I can do something else with it?
In cases where an automated approach is desired, or where real-time data is preferred, we offer several options:Real-time position relaying
Forwarding data to a service endpoint of your choice in a format that is easily integrated. We offer several standard formats for pushing real-time data back out to you:
- JSON POST – JSON data is submitted to a service endpoint of your choice via the HTTP POST protocol.
- URL Push – A customizable URL is requested via the HTTP GET protocol.
- NMEA (UDP) – Standard NMEA strings are submitted to an IP address and port of your choice via the UDP protocol.
We offer both live and historic KML feeds that can be polled and queried to export data in this Google-developed XML format. You can also use these feeds directly within Google Earth to view your data on a 3D globe – particularly useful for tracking projects occurring near the North and South Poles, where default maps become highly distorted.Automated Flight Following
Intended for government compliance with aviation tracking, this service can be used to query basic position data based on a date range.Custom Integration
We’re always open to working with you to provide you with a least-effort solution to integrate with your existing systems. We’ve worked with customers to provide all manner of custom integration in cases where one of the solutions above was not a good fit.
If you’re an existing customer and are interested in any of the options above, simply contact us for additional details.
If you’re just joining us, please take a minute to read the introduction to the Hacking Satellite Series at your leisure. GSE is in the process of building an innovation community within the SatCom industry, and we welcome your participation and encourage you to engage with us to move the world forward.
In focusing on the future, GSE has been ramping up its involvement with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, blogs, publications, and enthusiasts. For many of you, exposure to IoT is in your own personal consumer lifestyle with products like Nest, Amazon’s Echo, and Smart TVs. If you’ve noticed a seemingly obsessive relationship between companies and “smart” products, it’s because of the IoT revolution- the next sprint in the longer race to a technologically-enabled “futurist” world known to most as science fiction. It is generating a technology gap between cutting edge devices and cutting edge devices that support connectivity, and that gap is fueling economic growth and billions of dollars of revenue opportunity on a daily basis.
From a business perspective, IoT devices and tech simultaneously present the largest opportunity and greatest threat to the SatCom industry as a whole since the introduction of terrestrial 3G and 4G. As more and more devices reach the point of terrestrial connectivity, the next practical step is the demand for global connectivity. Whereas this demand in the past has been nestled within the specific industries and governmental sectors that necessitate ultra-remote communications, support for all devices anywhere in the world is now a realistic demand for the average consumer. The infrastructure providers of terrestrial networks are doing their best to keep pace with this growth, but satellite redundancy or even routing of certain connections exclusively through satellite makes sense in the near future.
Understanding the IoT is critical to our ability to identify the opportunities that will come from the scenario above, so we’ve pulled together some of the best infographics from around the blogosphere to help you in your quest for IoT enlightenment. What you will learn is that technological advancement is twofold: first, the devices and software become more complex and powerful; capable of doing more in less time; second, the ease of use and intuitiveness of those technologies increases to compensate for mass consumption. You’ll be happy to learn that IoT is already in phase 2, as it is incredibly easy to understand the relationships between the devices, the software, our world, and us.
Quite simply: participants in the IoT sprint are trying to make it so that consumers only need to understand how to operate one thing in order to operate all things.
The History of the IoT, in a simple image. When people joke about getting obsessive to the point of smart toasters being a little too far for the growth of IoT, just tell them that’s where it started.Click to view full image.
We can clearly see the advancement, and with the objectives in mind, it’s a wonder why so many industries have put off investment entirely. If you’re an advocate for technological innovation within your business, and want to make the case for investing time and resources in growth, we encourage you to get involved with us through this blog. If you need a case to present to others to help rally the cause, there are a number of infographics just like this one that can help you explain the need for IoT focused innovation.Click to view full image.
As we know that making the case triggers the amygdala response of most managers and risk advisors, as well as your own customers, we’ve also compiled some information to help you with resistance related to security concerns. Companies are already well aware of the risks associated with connectivity and loosely patched devices providing gateways to one’s entire ecosystem, and they are well ahead of the curve with security measures.Click to view full image.
We may periodically add infographics to this post over time if we find any that will help substantiate a future article or post. Please bookmark this as your reference point for the concepts we introduce in future chapters of the Hacking Satellite blog. There are a number of excellent sources of IoT infographics out there, and we’ll continue scouring those to bring you the ones that will help your understanding the most. Please feel free to direct any further questions about IoT and how your business can get involved with us in moving the entire SatCom industry toward capitalizing on the opportunities and insulating from the threats presented by the IoT sprint. We look forward to hearing from you.
GSE recently showed off its technology at the annual Inmarsat Americas conference, held in Miami Beach. In case you missed us, we wanted to make sure you got the opportunity to experience the demo of one of our solutions for remote asset management capabilities. In the video, GSE Engineer Yanosh Sabo demonstrates the interaction between an asset manager’s UI (controlled by a standard tablet) and a remote PLC that is connected to a valve in the field. Yanosh demonstrates a simple but critical real-time over-the-air operation, which is among the many solutions for oil and gas or other similar industries that require remote asset management capabilities, and remote emergency operations.
Yanosh explains GSE’s end-to-end solution capabilities within the oil, gas, and utilities sectors.
Safari users may view it here: View Video
GSatTrack has dedicated mobile apps for tracking the most popular mobile devices – iOS and Android phones and tablets. Both apps can be downloaded from the appropriate app store – either Google Play or iTunes by simply searching for GSatTrack.
These mobile apps have been published for a while now and allow you to track specific mobile devices on the GSatTrack platform.Past vs Present
What’s new (and interesting!) is that we now support tracking mobile users instead of just mobile devices.
In the past, when you wanted to set up a mobile device for tracking, you would download the app, login with a portal user credential, and follow a series of prompts on the device to register it with the associated account. Now, a portal administrator can create a mobile account and supply a mobile user with credentials to log in to the app instead. Any device using those credentials is automatically linked to the created asset and it will continue to track across multiple installations, or even when swapping devices altogether.Enhance Security. Save costs. Become Efficient.
Managing assets in the field becomes more secure, since no portal login credentials are shared with the user or even stored on the device itself. If your smart device is ever lost and unretrievable, simply sign on to a different device to disable tracking of the old device and secure the account.
Moreover, it reduces portal clutter and licensing costs – a single asset can effectively track multiple devices. This decrease of licenses significantly reduces the cost of multi-device users. Additionally, the cost of merging historical data from old devices to new devices is eliminated from being an expense.
This feature allows administrators to set up tracked assets ahead of time and prevents the headache of managing mobile assets when it comes time for tracked individuals to upgrade their phones or swap devices for whatever reason. Portal operators can take advantage of an organized asset list because they no longer have to rely on the end user naming their asset properly. Tracked individuals don’t even have to request anything from the administrator when changing devices – they simply log into the new device, and tracking continues seamlessly – no additional prompts or communication is necessary.When shouldn’t you use a mobile account?
When your goal is to track a specific piece of hardware and not an individual. If you needed to keep track of the location of the phone, regardless of the person using it, then you would be better served not assigning a mobile account to it and instead have one asset per physical device.How to create a Single Sign On (SSO) mobile account
To setup a mobile account, simply add the user as an asset as you would normally. You can choose Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone as the device type for the user (it doesn’t technically matter – the portal will recognize the actual device type when connected) and you’ll be prompted to enter a Mobile username and password:
You’ll also want to check any assets that you want to show up in the mobile app’s address book for messaging via the Assets tab at the end of the dialog:
Once the asset is set up, the tracked user will then simply enter those same credentials you assigned from within the mobile app. No additional prompts will be necessary to complete; tracking will begin immediately and will be linked to the asset you created with those credentials.
I’m excited to announce a new blog series from GSE, which will focus on the things that everyone loves to do, regardless of their industry. In this blog series, we will be paying attention to those limit-pushing ideas... the cool ones that you talk about to get people excited about Satellite. We feel it is important to constantly engage with the dreamers and visionaries that have a passion for seeing the future become the present more quickly, and while the steps we take daily to improve and progress the technology is certainly worthy of discussion and celebration, it is also critical that we not lose sight of the things that make us excited to work on the kinds of products and services that were only science fiction just a few decades ago.
Every 4th Monday, we will explore questions like “Are we any closer to accomplishing [insert futuristic supertech here] than we were a few years ago?” and “What can we do to accelerate that?” by surveying the advancements of clients, competitors, and other visionaries like you. We will identify opportunities for companies like ours and like yours to innovate, and collectively move the satellite industry toward its maximum potential. We know that when one of us releases new technology, it benefits all of us. The race is good, the competition is good, and our collective progress and the opportunities that exist for all of us to expand our businesses increase manifold when we compete to be the first, best, or most prolific provider of any satellite product. In so many ways, whenever we compete, everyone wins. When we strive to differentiate ourselves to win major contracts for example, specifically with government agencies, the miles we go to win those contracts ultimately benefits everyone with a safer world and more robust infrastructure.
In the spirit of this understanding, we encourage all of you, regardless of your relationship with us, to engage with our hacking satellite blog as extensively as you’d like. Watch for great ideas that you can build, launch, and perfect. We encourage you to actively contribute to group discussions about collaborative initiatives, and, when we hold them, participate in our hackathons. We will also use this blog to announce and provide details about our future hackathon events, so if you’ve been looking for the opportunity to show off your innovative prowess, find partners for your dream projects, or source some excellent ideas, resources, and talent, you will also want to click below to add our release notice to your calendar.
As a preview, here are some of the topics we plan to address this calendar year:
- Autonomous cars and the current and future opportunities they create for satellite
- What exactly are the opportunities?
- How can you leverage these opportunities for your business goals?
- What is the best way to invest and build product roadmaps to capitalize?
- Payments, cryptocurrencies, and the future of interchange
- What is the landscape and how will satellite play a role?
- Is my company in position to pivot?
- What exactly will the RFPs look like for companies like mine?
- Emerging Markets
- Not just what we can create, but how we can get more mileage from existing tech
Please accept this invitation to participate in our satellite “hacker” community. Our goal is to establish a coopertition scenario in which we collectively benefit from the crowd-sourcing of ideas and innovation that we can all push forward with healthy races for market share. Participation in this community will expose new business relationships, networking opportunities, investment opportunities, and potential partnerships. We owe it to ourselves to adapt the ways in which we view and conduct business as the accelerating pace of technological change makes it increasingly difficult for companies to unilaterally pursue advancement. Please connect with us directly, at tradeshows, via email, and on social media. We look forward to hearing from you.Recent notifications on your Google Calendar for this article
If you resell satellite phones and airtime, reselling the SatCollect platform for satellite phones is a worthy consideration for you and your customers.Value-add Services for your Customer
Simplification: SatCollect simplifies the calling process of dialing to a satellite phone issuing a local number to the satellite phone. Satellite phone users can select one or many local phone numbers in over 50 different countries that will transparently route to their satellite phone.Cost Savings
When your customer uses their SatCollect-local number, they will avoid the high fees that large carriers charge to connect a caller to a satellite phone. Anyone calling to the satellite phone will no longer be charged for international rates. Password protection is available to prevent unauthorized calls. Money will be saved by routing the calls over the SatCollect global network instead of utilizing traditional phone carrier networks.Advanced Billing Platform and Cost Control
You’ll receive real-time billing activity reports and can integrate all the satellite-related services onto one bill. SatCollect allows management and control of expenditure through the ability to assign numbers to individuals or groups so usage can be monitored. Such features open various applications for cost savings and airtime billing control regardless of industry.Raise Your Margins on Inbound Airtime
The best part is that SatCollect will increase your average revenue per user (ARPU) per terminal and includes you on the inbound airtime revenue stream that you are currently missing out on. SatCollect creates a new revenue stream while offering your customers convenience and huge savings. A win-win for both you and your customer!Easy Set Up
Activation is instant and no special software is required! The service can be easily added to any airtime plan - all major carriers: Iridium, Thuraya, and Inmarsat are supported. Managing phone numbers is quick and simple and there are no contracts. All that is required is the satellite phone number and the local country & area code chosen for the SatCollect number. The service is based on a prepaid or postpaid account that can be cancelled at any time.Testimonials
SatCollect service has been in operation for over 10 years and continues to grow. Below are a few testimonials showcasing some of the dynamic benefits that SatCollect offers.SatCollect has proven to be a key added value to our satellite telecommunication products and services. It has been particularly useful to our maritime users who need to stay in touch seamlessly with their land based contacts who do not want to call a regular satellite number for cost reasons. In addition, land based users are praising the service for giving them one single number that can easily be used to call them on domestic and international land lines, or satphones without the calling party needing to track tedious number changes that vary with the user's current location. Finally, as a partner of SatCollect, we appreciate the self-managed aspect of the product that does not increase our administrative workload. Thierry Watters SatCollect Partner MVS is a new user of SatCollect and I have to say we are very pleased with the service and the product. On the service side, it is extremely fast and despite having some very demanding customers, all of them are very happy. We had a couple of requests from customers and were delighted with the fast response we received from you. We are also impressed with the new features that will only enhance our service to our customers. Having tested the product myself, the voice quality is exceptional, obtaining a connection doesn't take long and you don’t even notice the latency. Overall MVS is very happy with the service and the same goes for our customers. As Regional Manager, I am always looking for quality tools to help grow our business and SatCollect is certainly one of them! Nicolas Emmanouilidis Regional Manager, MVS
Resellers across the globe are profiting on their added revenue stream, while their customers are enjoying the cost savings, simplifications of using the Satellite phone, and improved management through the advanced billing platform.Everyone Wins!
For more details please visit http://www.gsat.us/products/satcollect
The GSatMicro OEM delivers extremely advanced functionality and several customization options in an astonishingly small package. Every component of the GSatMicro was designed to fit into a dense vertical stack. Utilizing satellite technology, the GSatMicro OEM terminal enables you to develop projects that you may have thought otherwise inaccessible.The Customer Situation
Space Markt is a small science based team that specializes in launching weather balloons with cameras and scientific instruments into the stratosphere. During these launches, continuous pictures are taken while devices onboard the weather balloon measure scientific data such as pressure, humidity, and microbe sampling. Space Markt needed a way track their balloons while in flight as well as when they landed.The Challenge
Tracking any device that is used in aeronautics has challenges. In commercial aircraft, cell-based devices can interfere with instrumentation. Satellite solutions have their own challenges as they require clear view of the sky, but when you are dealing with tracking assets in the stratosphere, governmental requirements called cocom limits play a part.
Cocom limits are put in place by governments to prevent the use of consumer GPS from operating or controlling ballistic missiles. To adhere to these cocom limits most GPS devices stop operating above 100,000 feet or if they travel faster than 1000km per hour.
In order to meet Space Markt’s requirements, the tracking device chosen would have to meet the cocom regulations while operating well above 100,000 feet. This meant transmitting data beyond the reach of any cellular network and surviving the extreme environments of altitudes 3 times higher than that of most commercial aircraft.The Solution
Because of the proven track record of the GSatMicro OEM working with NASA on the LDSD project and other governmental agencies and scientific endeavors, it was chosen as the best device for this use case. While the OEM version could have been built into a new form factor to fit aboard the weather balloons, the extremely rugged handheld integration of the OEM (GSatMicro) was chosen instead.
Even in its handheld version, the GSatMicro is extremely small, weighing under 4 ounces. This meant a very small footprint on the weather balloons, and the case allowed the technology inside to remain waterproof and able to withstand the elements, even at 35,000 meters. Functioning on the Iridium network of satellites, the terminal continued to transmit information far beyond where cell coverage is available while adhering to the governmental cocom limits that were of initial concern.
Finally, with future projects in mind, the GSatMicro has the capability of supporting additional sensors to test humidity, weather, and precipitation. All of these factors provided the perfect solution for our client’s scientific endeavors.The Result
I’ll let our client sum up the results in their own words:
We use the GSatMicro, as it can tell us where our balloon has landed. In our case, this has been very useful in the past as our balloon has landed in the biggest and most dangerous mountains in the swiss alps, or even the depth of the Australian sea, where there was no chance of receiving any GSM telecommunication service. Using the GSatMicro also allows us to track our payload every 2 minutes at very high altitude, a service that, as far as we know, nobody else is providing. The GSatMicro has a tested battery life, and does not freeze at the altitude of 35,000 meters, where temperatures can reach -70 degrees celsius, hence increasing the success rate on our launches.
We even used the GSatMicro in one of our recent projects to see if there are microbes in the stratosphere which would prove that there is basic life at at 130,000 feet.
We would also like to thank the GSE team for being very cooperative with our team and providing us with the GSatMicro.
Marc Funk, Space Markt