Globalstar launched the STX3 simplex satellite global transmitter today (11 February 2014), featuring what it claims is the lowest power-consuming technology currently on the market. The company said this makes the STX3 a key requirement for customers whose monitoring devices are dispersed in remote and harsh environments.
Globalstar engineers have shrunk the chip technology to be a third of the size of its predecessor, the widely-deployed STX2. About the size of a quarter, and with low-cost and low-power, the STX3 is designed to be easily integrated into a broad range of M2M devices and applications for cost-effective remote sensing, tracking and monitoring of items as diverse as sheep, ships and meters.
These attributes also make the STX3 ideal for hybrid GPRS/GSM-based M2M tracking or monitoring devices to provide a cost-effective, satellite-based backup communications solution for areas where mobile network reception is either patchy or non-existent.
Ovinto, an M2M telematics specialist based in Belgium, is one VAR who has been testing the STX3 chipset. “We have been using the STX2 for many years as it meets our stringent requirements for reliability in even the harshest of environments including contact with explosive materials,” said Frederick Ronse, founder and CEO of Ovinto.
“We have been testing the STX3 and see great potential in using this new technology, particularly its very long battery life. Our customers want to use Ovinto Sat with the reassurance that they can go years without having to replace device batteries in wagons and containers across Europe."
Mobiltex Data of Calgary, Alberta, was the first company to design a product specifically around the STX3. Engineering manager Tony da Costa said: “The small size of the Globalstar STX3 transmitter module was a crucial factor that allowed Mobiltex to design a unique miniature remote pipeline monitoring product that could be mounted inside existing space-constrained enclosures.
“Coupled with the excellent Globalstar Simplex coverage footprint, low recurring monthly service costs, and low transmitter power requirements, the decision to use Globalstar for this product was an easy one.”
The STX3 module sends one-way data messages via the Globalstar Simplex Network when integrated into a tracking or monitoring device. The module is easily integrated into devices for fixed and mobile asset management, remote sensing, data reporting and data logging applications over a near-global network.
Use cases include: dual device tracking (GSM/Satellite), animal tracking, pipeline management, fleet management (marine and vehicular) and many other M2M applications with size constraints.
“We see a huge opportunity for VARs and OEMs to incorporate the STX3 chipset into compact and efficient communications devices targeted at a wide and fast-growing range of vertical markets,” said Jay Monroe, chairman and CEO of Globalstar. “With its unrivalled low power consumption and small size, this chipset has the potential to accelerate the adoption of satellite-based M2M – both satellite-only solutions and hybrid cellular/satellite offerings.”