Iridium Edge® Solar provides upgraded capabilities for satellite IoT tracking and asset management

Source: press release, 5 January 2021

photo: Iridium Communications Inc.
photo: Iridium Communications Inc.

Iridium Communications Inc. has announced commercial availability of the Iridium Edge Solar – a secure, maintenance-free, solar-powered remote asset tracking and management device. With over-the-air configuration capabilities, the Iridium Edge Solar is ideal for Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS), fisheries management, tracking of freight shipping containers, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) applications, monitoring of oil and gas pipelines and heavy equipment telematics data reporting.

The Iridium Edge Solar beta trials, which are nearing completion, are thoroughly testing its real-time, two-way communication, over-the-air configuration ability, built-in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity and secure, ruggedised packaging. The addition of BLE technology enables development of customised deployable sensor systems that can be positioned on machinery, vehicles, vessels or across worksites.

“The Iridium Edge Solar is a unique and versatile solar-powered asset tracking device, when compared to alternatives available in the industry,” says Bryan Hartin, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Iridium. “No other solar-powered IoT tracking device matches its geographic coverage, capabilities and cost-effectiveness, and we believe the addition of BLE local wireless connectivity adds a new level of customisability for applications requiring multiple and disparate sensor readings.”

The history of solar-powered satellite IoT tracking devices has been marred by questionable field lifespan due to failures of charging batteries, solar panels and packaging susceptible to water-intrusion or cracking. These issues have been exacerbated by the lack of two-way communications with the deployed device, leaving organisations wondering if the equipment suffered a terminal malfunction. Iridium Edge Solar resolves these issues through complete encapsulation of all vital electronics, military-grade ruggedised packaging and an innovative, intelligent dual-power system, ensuring two-way communications delivery even in low-light conditions.

When combined with Iridium’s truly global coverage and services like Iridium CloudConnect helping to simplify back-office integration through Amazon Web Services, businesses, governments and NGOs can rapidly scale and deploy this reliable, solar-powered asset-tracking device anywhere on the planet for up to 10 years without maintenance.

Iridium Edge Solar now joins both the Iridium Edge and Iridium Edge Pro as finished Iridium products, each with specified, yet complementary, use-cases to extend the reach of IoT services beyond cellular coverage.

As of the third quarter of 2020, Iridium commercial IoT subscribers grew 20% from the year-ago period to 924,000 customers, continuing the company’s growing position as the premier satellite IoT company.

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