Out-of-Coverage Tracking

Out-of-Coverage Tracking with the Hybrid G120 Iridium/Cellular GPS

GPS devices, or any other monitoring devices on a basic level consist of two key components:

  1. The GPS module to log position (and potentially other inputs/measurements).
  2. A modem/transceiver to transmit these records back to the server.
    Our range of Cellular (2G, 3G, 4G LTE-M / NB-IoT), LoRaWAN®, and Sigfox GPS trackers require cellular coverage to receive and transmit tracking data. But what about tracking in remote areas where cellular coverage is spotty at best, or even non-existent?

The G120 is a hybrid 4G LTE-M / NB-IoT GPS tracking device that can also be fitted with an Iridium Edge® Module for tracking assets even when they move out of GPS coverage.

What is Iridium?

The Iridium Satellite Constellation is a system of 66 satellites used for voice and data communications. The constellation covers the entire earth, so voice and data can be transmitted from anywhere worldwide. This makes an Iridium device capable of lone or remote worker tracking, tracking of vehicles in out-of-coverage areas, and enables duress or rollover alerts in these locations.

Key Benefits

  • It provides coverage anywhere, even when you need to track vehicles and assets in remote locations.

Drawbacks

  • Iridium devices and airtime is costly

How the G120 Works

The G120 is fitted with a GPS/GNSS module, a cellular modem, and several other high-quality components including a Bluetooth® module (Learn more about tracking assets with Bluetooth®), digital and analog inputs, RS232 and J1939 interfaces.

When the device is within cellular coverage, it records and uploads its position to the server. Typically, when driving it will stay connected to the network and upload immediately for ‘live-tracking’. This data transfer is handled by the cellular modem.

If the device is traveling out-of-coverage, it can be connected to an Iridium Edge® module. This device houses an Iridium modem and antenna – which allows the device to connect to the Iridium network and transmit data back to the server.

The G120 records a large amount of data in its internal memory, such as heading changes, speed changes, input changes, and other valuable tracking information at all times.

However, it will send a subset of this data every 15 minutes when in trip (by default) over Iridium. This is completely configurable and ensures that Iridium data costs are kept under control. An Iridium data bill for a minute by minute data would be an unhappy surprise!

The Iridium SBD (short burst data) service only allows a message size of 20 bytes, so a few other key bits of information, such as inputs (for duress) and rollover/crash information can be sent immediately if they occur.

When the device returns to coverage – it will update its full history of stored data, so you can replay trips, and get other detailed tracking information.

 

Key Applications of the G120:

  • Tracking vehicles and assets in remote areas where GPS does not work, or monitoring assets that are frequently in and out of cellular coverage
  • Remote/Lone Worker Tracking
  • Enabling Duress / SOS Alarms in Remote Locations
  • Enabling “Man Down” Alerts in Remote Locations

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