E-Space's highly affordable satellite solution will connect sensors anywhere on Earth
One significant and growing area for Internet of Things (IoT) devices is for monitoring critical infrastructure. By adding connected sensors to a multitude of objects — from utility poles to dams to transportation systems — those charged with monitoring these assets can vastly improve their effectiveness. Where once a crew on ATVs or even snowmobiles might have to survey an entire span of a power line to find a problem, a simple sensor attached to a pole can instantaneously deliver that information.
The U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) defines 16 critical infrastructure sectors “… whose assets, systems and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety or any combination thereof.”
The European Commission defines them in thematic groups through its ERNCIP program (European Reference Network for Critical Infrastructure Protection), with the war in Ukraine and other recent threats prompting more immediate action to secure assets and protect European Union member states.
It’s easy to imagine how connected sensors can play a role in every one of these areas. To further explore the example of utility poles, a system can be rapidly and economically deployed using tiny tags placed on the poles within a utility company’s infrastructure. These connected tags can detect pole failure in real time while also providing valuable insights on temperature, humidity, overall condition, etc.
Millions of IoT devices are already in place, but they have one significant limitation: they rely on connectivity from cellular or other terrestrial networks. In the case of a utility pole in a remote location, a shipping container in the middle of the ocean or a train in dark territory, an IoT device can’t do its job if it’s not connected.
Ubiquitous connectivity via satellite
This is where satellite connectivity for these devices comes into play, and it’s a major focus of the E-Space satellite network approach. The system is planned to work by securely and resiliently transmitting massive amounts of global data from billions of small, rapidly deployable devices and sensors, anywhere worldwide.
Unlike other low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite systems, the E-Space platform will be optimized with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), offering actionable insights and intelligence for more informed, split-second decision-making that can save lives, protect investments and prevent downtime. And, because of its high affordability compared to other satellite systems, the E-Space solution can be deployed for a wide variety of use cases from large utilities and government assets and facilities to a small-town public works department. The lower cost of the E-Space satellite system compared to traditional systems also means smaller countries and developing nations can also take advantage of the technology.
As our changing climate and growing security threats make clear, damage to or destruction of key infrastructure assets can be devastating and expensive. It’s difficult to think of any critical area that wouldn’t benefit from better monitoring that can deliver instant, actionable intelligence to detect problems before they happen while also improving information gathering and dissemination during an emergency.
Uninterrupted service availability
Ubiquitous, continuous monitoring of critical infrastructure systems requires 24/7/365 system availability. E-Space will offer the only global constellation resilient enough to operate in high-debris LEO environments with thousands of satellites offering unmatched levels of redundancy. LEO satellites are also less vulnerable to weather events and harsh environments that can impact terrestrial networks.