Iridium simplifies satellite IoT data services

  • December 28, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Virginia-based Iridium has found a way to simplify the development of satellite IoT data services.

The Iridium Messaging Transport (IMT) is a two-way cloud-native networked data service optimised for use over Iridium Certus and designed to make it easier to add satellite connections to existing or new IoT offerings.

IMT provides an IP data transport service unique to the Iridium network, designed for small-to-moderate-sized messages supporting satellite IoT applications. Integrated with Iridium CloudConnect and Amazon Web Services (AWS), it can reduce development costs and speed time to market for new Iridium Connected IoT devices.

IMT has been anticipated by Iridium’s partner ecosystem and is available for the Certus 100 service with introduction on Certus 200, 350 and 700 planned for the first quarter of 2023.

As a connectionless messaging service for Certus modules, IMT aligns with established server-device message constructs using hubs, pub-sub or queues, depending on application platforms. The IMT service can be used by a user application that is store and forward or has small amounts of data traffic that does not require a persistent connection between servers, using a Certus terminal.

Whether it’s M2M, emails, weather updates, transactions or group communications, IMT can enhance two-way messaging to and from anywhere in the world.

IMT is used with the CloudConnect model of server-side message processing, regardless of the underlying over-the-air and ground systems technologies and protocols. The CloudConnect service combines Iridium IoT capabilities with AWS cloud services extending users’ IoT reach to the more than 85 per cent of the Earth that lacks terrestrial coverage.

IMT uses standard protocols and technology for managing and delivering messages in the cloud, including MQTT, HTTPS and WebSocket (WSS). This is said to make IMT an easier, faster and less expensive protocol with which to develop, supporting users with advantages to design applications that are scalable and easier to distribute to other platforms.

Among the first products built with IMT available are the RockRemote by Ground Control and Stream+ by MetOcean Telematics. RockRemote is flexible for industrial IoT applications including oil, gas, mining, utilities, renewables, transport and cargo. It has a built-in MQTT application that allows developers to submit and receive data payloads across the MQTT protocol. Users can send and receive messages and pictures to and from anywhere in the world using this IMT implementation over the Certus 100 service.

Also powered by Certus 100, Stream+ lets users send and receive files and messages securely. Designed for field applications with size, weight and power constraints, Stream+ offers industry standard protocols, features and inputs simplifying integration and installation for users and reducing development costs and overall time to market.

Also working on IMT service-based offerings are Iridium partners Beam Communications, Blue Sky Network, CLS Group, Globalsat Group, Lars Thrane and Zunibal.

“The launch of Iridium Messaging Transport adds another powerful capability to the Iridium Certus portfolio and another value-added service for our partners and the growing IoT market,” said Bryan Hartin, executive vice president at Iridium. “Our partners are excited about IMT as it will make it faster and easier for them to add Iridium satellite connectivity to new and existing solutions needed across a number of industries.”

Certus is a broadband service that provides weather-resilient connectivity for on-the-move internet, high-quality voice, email, live-action video and IoT data transfer. Through its constellation of crosslinked satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO), Iridium offers global coverage that is suitable for IoT applications.

Iridium Communications is headquartered in McLean, Virginia.