Swarm launches satellite based asset tracker

  • September 28, 2022
  • William Payne

Satellite communications provider Swarm has launched an asset tracker that is fitted with a satellite modem and leverages the firm’s global satellite network. The Swarm Asset Tracker can be used as an end-to-end solution for tracking equipment, vehicles, and other remote assets. The company says the tracker is particularly suited for tracking assets in remote locations that lack terrestrial network coverage.

The Swarm Asset Tracker is an out-of-the-box turnkey commercial product. Swarm’s existing commercial offerings include a satellite modem that can be integrated at the board level (M138 Modem) and testing devices to get started on the network (Eval Kit and SparkFun breakout board).

At setup, the device automatically collects, formats, and transmits its location and power information to the Swarm network. The transmitted data will be accessible in the Swarm Hive, where users access their information through a customer web portal. The Swarm Hive includes mapping and reporting features that allow customers to view time series location data on a map. The transmitted data can be pulled from the Swarm Hive via the provided REST API, or be pushed to a customer’s backend server via webhooks.

The Asset Tracker will run off rechargeable battery power for 6 months at its default configuration (6 GPS readings per day). The device also has an external 6V-28V DC power connector that can be used to power the device and charge the batteries to considerably increase the Asset Tracker’s lifetime. Power can be provided directly from the asset using relay wiring that is fuse protected and capable of supplying the required power. The Asset Tracker includes a motion detection mode that can be enabled to initiate data acquisition only when triggered to substantially conserve battery power.

Swarm says that its new tracker bridges the gap between trackers employing legacy satellite networks, or terrestrial devices that work within cell range.

Swarm is building a low earth orbit satellite constellation designed for IoT devices employing a store and forward design. In 2021, Swarm became a subsidiary of Elon Musk’s SpaceX which, in addition to building spacecraft and providing space launch facilities, also operates its onw Starlink satellite constellation designed for internet connectivity.