Satellites: Iridium IoT in agriculture + Bird-i: Why use sat images to monitor construction projects?

August 23, 2018
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NewSpace Watch
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Satellites
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August 23, 2018

Iridium highlights use of its LEO constellation for Internet of Things (IoT) applications in areas such as farming: One Million Subscribers Connected: Agricultural Business

When it comes to global connectivity, Iridium means business: the Iridium® network covers the entire planet’s surface. For Appareo’s agricultural customers, this makes a big difference because equipment operating in fields out of range of cell towers will still have a strong connection. Appareo focuses on using big data to offer remote support and control, machine automation, and intuitive sensor technology to its customers, who operate in a range of industries from agriculture to construction to custom engineering. For more than five years, Iridium and Appareo have worked together as partners to create innovative solutions for telemetry and remote fleet management.

Jeff Johnson, President, Appareo IoT, values Appareo’s partnership with Iridium because a network with global connectivity “lets customers expand the way that they can even imagine their products.” Many of Appareo’s customers need connections in extremely remote areas, and the strength of the Iridium network helps Appareo to keep innovating to suit their needs. With the agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO, for example, Appareo introduced a way to turn telemetric equipment setup from a two-day process to one that took just fifteen minutes! Innovations like this one are reducing time to market and helping growers plow, plant, and harvest more efficiently, cutting down on costs.

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UK-based satellite imaging analysis company Bird-i specializes in the use of satellite imagery for monitoring construction projects: 5 Reasons to Monitor Construction with Satellite Imagery

5. Satellite imagery vs other methods

The emergence of drone technology has proven popular for various types of aerial monitoring, however there are a few key restrictions. To operate a drone, someone must be on the ground in charge of its operation- requiring access permission, time, and resources. Monitoring multiple sites at different build stages can be costly and logistically challenging. On the other hand, using satellite imagery provides a simple and affordable way to monitor multiple sites.

Legislation for drone operation can also be particularly strict, especially in built-up areas where there can be many restrictions in place. These restrictions don’t apply to Earth Observation satellites meaning imagery can be taken over any area.​

Whilst drones are able to provide imagery for micro-analysis of an individual site, they’re not always practical; especially on large-scale projects, or when monitoring multiple sites, or if you want to view projects outside of your portfolio. In these cases, satellite imagery offers a rich source of data and insight when monitoring construction projects.

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