Satellite Connectivity Becomes Next-Generation Tech for Remote Operations

Satellite Connectivity Becomes Next-Generation Tech for Remote Operations

The future of IIoT connectivity is up in the air — literally. Space is the new frontier for IIoT connectivity, as satellite connectivity is fast becoming the networking solution of choice for many industrial use cases.  IIoT, or the industrial internet of things, refers to an ever-expanding ecosystem of sensors, networking equipment, and analytics, which work together to collect, transmit, and analyze data from “things” used in industrial operations. Data transmissions from industrial assets help guide business decisions or automatically trigger actions. For example, in agriculture, IIoT-enabled irrigation systems monitor soil moisture levels, weather forecasts, and other data points to help growers determine the best time to water, or the IIoT solution can automatically activate sprinklers without human intervention if programmed to do so. When talking about satellite, this two-way communication reveals the next-generation tech for remote operations. First, though, let’s take a quick glance back. What Satellite Connectivity Means for People in Remote Areas FreeWave started by helping customers transmit mission-critical data using radio technology in 1993. We’ve seen the evolution of communications since then, with not only our rugged wireless radios continuing to serve the future of the oil and gas industry, but also the advancement of satellite for people leading remote operations. Traditionally, IIoT has mostly relied on cellular connectivity and other terrestrial solutions for data transmission, but as IIoT continues its push into underserved locations — from remote grazing pastures in Colorado to offshore oil platforms in the Pacific Ocean — cellular solutions pose some serious limitations. Connecting people, not things, is the foundational purpose of cellular infrastructure development, so in sparsely populated or remote areas, cellular service may be limited or even surprisingly unavailable. While other non-cellular connectivity solutions exist, for certain circumstances, satellite is becoming a more viable solution, offering distinct advantages. Competition is driving rapid innovation in the IIoT satellite space even as it drives down costs. As a result, companies that previously encountered lack-of-coverage or cost barriers with the various terrestrial networking options now have an affordable IIoT connectivity solution in the form of satellite — with cost savings between four and 20 times what they once might have paid. Satellite connections are, by definition, wireless and don’t require remote operators to install fixed lines — DSL lines or coaxial cable — for data transmission. This added flexibility gives companies the freedom to scale their IIoT applications quickly and easily as their needs and business goals evolve. For example, a major agriculture company with an expanding customer base in remote parts of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile announced it will use satellite connectivity to operate autonomously driven tractors in those countries. In these remote areas with no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage, real-time communication through satellite connectivity allows farmers to stop and start the tractors and other unmanned equipment, monitor the equipment’s performance, and determine what to do when a tractor encounters an obstacle — all through an app-based control panel from afar. Meet LEO and GEO Not all satellites are created equal, however. There are three common satellite types:  Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites, and Geostationary Equatorial Orbit (GEO) satellites. LEO and GEO represent the two altitudinal extremes and are most commonly used for IIoT connectivity. LEO satellites are smaller and orbit closer to the earth, so launching them is less expensive. LEO satellites circle the earth several times a day, so multiples are needed to fly in succession over the target geographic area in order to provide consistent coverage and avoid dataflow disruptions. The ground equipment needed to monitor and maintain LEO satellite constellations is also extensive. GEO satellites — a type of geosynchronous orbit (GSO) satellite — also orbit the earth, but they do so along the equator in the same direction and at the same rate the earth is spinning. Hence, from our vantage point, a GEO satellite looks like it’s standing still since it is always above the same location. Its daily orbit notwithstanding, a GEO satellite, for all intents and purposes, stays “parked” above the area that needs coverage. Since GEO satellites are continuously visible, ground station tracking is not required, and their greater height offers substantially more geographic coverage; in fact, only three GEO satellites can provide whole-earth coverage. LEO satellites and GEO satellites both have their place in IIoT connectivity. With less distance for signals to travel, LEO satellite solutions historically have offered lower latency rates and higher bandwidth capabilities, although newer GEO satellite solutions offer these capabilities now, as well, with a signal-bounce delay of about one-quarter of a second. The end user’s needs, business goals, and budget will determine which IIoT satellite solution is best. We’re seeing an increasing need for two key requirements for satellite connectivity — real-time or near real-time data transmission and two-way communications. Can Satellite Connectivity for Remote Operations Minimize the Impact of Catastrophes? Environmental catastrophes happen more frequently than we are even aware. Being able to positively impact a critical issue before it happens is certainly the goal of many. IIoT and its network-connected sensors and dataflow provides the catalyst for alarming and alerting to help alleviate the impacts of disastrous situations whether they be natural phenomenon, human error, or otherwise created. FreeWave has expanded our footprint in the environmental space, helping customers deploy early-detection IIoT sensors that alert the appropriate personnel in the event of a disaster. Let’s take the case of a timber company using sensors to detect lightning strikes or approaching wildfires. Strategically placed sensors are programmed to detect various gas profiles indicative of those events. A delayed alert could spell disaster, so real-time notifications are of paramount importance. The same is true for oil and gas companies that receive alerts before a catastrophic equipment malfunction—real-time alerts to what’s happening in the field could save millions of dollars and prevent environmental devastation and other ramifications. One-way and Two-way Satellite Communications In many use cases, two-way communication is needed to optimize industrial operations. Some IIoT connectivity solutions only transmit data one way, from the

2023 and Beyond: A Visionary Q&A with FreeWave

2023 and Beyond- A Visionary Q&A with FreeWave

With fresh insight and excitement for the year ahead, the FreeWave leadership team discusses their vision for the future, predictions about the evolution of data, and collective approach to protecting life’s essentials.  Though you might not find their names in the next Marvel film or DC comic book, industrial leaders – whether in agriculture, energy, utilities, or another resource industry – are the heroes of the modern world, real-life Guardians of the Galaxy, if you will. These heroes fight today’s challenges every day, while life’s essentials like food, air, energy, and water are threatened daily. With technology at the ready, industrial operators continue to come to the rescue, finding innovative solutions to defend the planet and preserve its most precious resources. At FreeWave, our goal is to continually build upon technology advancements to help you build a better world within your industry. With 2023 right around the corner, we asked four of FreeWave’s senior leaders, including Kirk Byles (CEO), Michael Tate (COO), Parthesh Shastri (CTO), and Jeff Horton (CRO) to share their thoughts on how FreeWave Technologies is helping the heroes of today protect life’s essentials to create a better tomorrow. ___________________________________________________________________ Q: What is one of your favorite FreeWave memories from this past year? Kirk Byles: It’s hard to even remember before this quarter, but the Reinke Dealer Conference was definitely a top highlight for me this year. Not only did it show the work our collective teams have been doing to build relationships and finalize a new product offering, but it was also really cool to see the impact our work is having in real-time, as we partner with Reinke – one of the largest pivot irrigation manufacturers in the world – to help growers and producers save water and raise crops. This was really big. Parthesh Shastri: This year, we really came together across disciplines within FreeWave, too, increasing our focus on target outcomes to deliver products that our customers use and deploy in the field, and we had a lot of fun while doing it! As we look at 2023, we are excited to scale this model and implement it across new industries. Q: How is FreeWave helping industrial operators protect life’s essentials?   Jeff Horton: The top thing that comes to my mind is bringing automation to irrigation. We work closely with our partners, like Reinke, to provide real-time analytics, which saves a lot of water and nutrients, and both of these things are invaluable for farmers. Technology also helps to reduce fuel consumption on ranches by eliminating the need to manually check cattle watering tanks. Some producers often spend 12 to 15 hours a week driving around just to look at their water tanks. Think about the wear and tear on those pickup trucks or even the rising cost of fuel. Being able to reduce greenhouse gas and save these guys money while also producing a high return on investment is a really big deal. We can do that easily with the Tank Level Monitor. Mike Tate: And it’s not just the ROI. These producers are suffering. Ranching is not the lucrative business that it once was, and these ranchers are getting beaten at every turn. A lactating cow needs one gallon of water for every hundred pounds, every six hours! Water is a huge concern for both producers and growers, and being able to give them back more time while reducing their expenses is a great value add because every dollar counts for them. Q: Is the word “efficiency” changing for industrial operators?  Jeff: When you look at conditions today, both here in the United States and globally, you see so many labor shortages, droughts, inflation, and climate changes, and it’s forcing efficiency, not for efficiency’s sake, but for sustainability and survivability. Businesses have to fundamentally change the way they produce a product, and they have to find the least expensive, most efficient path to go to market. Efficiency isn’t an option anymore; it’s a necessity. Kirk: For years, everybody has wanted to do more with less, and usually, there’s some sort of limitation in the way until someone invents a solution that takes things to the next level. That’s what we’re all about at FreeWave. We’re not doing anything necessarily earth-shattering; but we are innovating. We’re providing a mechanism for our customers to become more and more operationally efficient – to increase their bottom line – and make things better, and not just for their business, but for their employees and life, in general. Case in point: oil and gas companies, considered by some to be big polluters. However, these companies have many sustainability and environmental initiatives and tenants they strive to uphold. They are a critical component of our everyday lives. They’re evolving and innovating, too. FreeWave, helps them get the most out of the equipment they have on-site so that they’re more effectively getting the oil and gas out of the ground with minimal impact. Overall, a more efficient company means less impact on the environment, and these kinds of solutions help create a better planet. Q: In your wildest imagination, where can technology take the industrial leader in the next ten years?  Parthesh: There are so many great examples. In China, there’s currently a 12-story tall facility being built to raise hogs in a conditioned environment. It’s like an office space for swine. In this environment, technology is being used in such a way that human intervention is really minimized, and because most things are entirely data-driven, they are able to be a lot more efficient. Now, there are pros and cons to what’s taking place there, and we won’t know the final outcomes for a while, but the march of technology is going to continue to go on, and I believe we will continue to see a lot more practices like this in the future. Jeff: Another example is indoor growing facilities in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Massive facilities that are purpose-built for farming simply because there is

The Impact of IoT on the Future of the Oil and Gas Industry

A global expert in telecommunication, Dennis Stipati talks about how today’s energy companies are doing more with the same amount of resources and how FreeWave sees the future for smart oil fields. A true industrial transformation is taking place as we speak. Connected devices delivering data to technicians and managers through the internet – what we all know as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – are transforming efficiency and productivity for forward-thinking energy companies. Oftentimes, wells are located many miles apart in extreme weather conditions or might even be offshore on an oil rig. Through digitalization, oil and gas leaders are implementing innovative strategies to do more with the same amount of people and resources while increasing overall safety and environmental sustainability. Here, we explore the impact of IIoT in the oil and gas sector with FreeWave’s Senior Director of Strategic Accounts, Dennis Stipati. Q: The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is significantly impacting every industry; what are the top problems IIoT is solving for energy companies?? Dennis: From the operations side of things, being more efficient and increasing revenue is huge. Over the last year or two, there’s been a lot going on in our world. There’s not enough gas, not enough oil, and on top of that, we’re trying to get the oil and gas that we do have to the right places. That’s where IIoT steps in, helping us increase revenue and improve efficiency within operations. For example, if a drilling rig is down for a short period of time, that oil company could lose millions of dollars, potentially. It’s important to be able to remotely control the different sensors on that oil rig so that downtime is decreased and productivity and overall revenue is increased. That’s one benefit. On the other end, IIoT also impacts the overall safety of workers on the field and the surrounding environment. In the past, oil operators weren’t able to get the type of detailed operational information that we have access to today, and this data makes a big difference in reducing safety hazards on the field. With the right equipment in place, we can see when machine parts need to be replaced before their end of life. We can also virtually measure the amount of oil that’s coming through the pipelines and see if there are any leaks or dangerous chemical exposures before a crisis arises. IIoT also helps us control the day-to-day management of our operations from anywhere in the world, which leads to greater sustainability. Say there’s a methane leak of some sort. We can now respond to a situation like this immediately instead of after hundreds of thousands of gallons have been released into the environment. A decrease in environmental hazards means a safer and more sustainable world for all of us. At the end of the day, what IIoT really helps us create is a smarter network. With the right equipment in place, oil operators can manage changes on the field from virtually anywhere in the world, no matter if it’s a change flow, tank pressure, or even the temperature. With a smarter network, these decisions can be made on the edge. Q: How does the use of IIoT in the oil and gas industry impact the everyday person? Dennis: IIoT in oil and gas is important for a number of reasons, but the biggest thing most people pay attention to is gas prices. Whether it’s filling up their car or paying for natural or propane gas, this is an industry that affects all of us. It’s important for oil operators to be as efficient as they can so that they can make a profit and then pass along those cost savings to everyday consumers so that we can continue to do the things that make up our daily lives. Q: What FreeWave products are currently being used in the oil and gas industry? Dennis: It seems like every day, a new app is invented to help make our lives easier. I think FreeWave products function in the same way. Our IIoT solutions, including Zumlink™, ZumEdge®, Fusion™ Bridge radios along with our FreeWave Edge software platform, help our customers operate with greater efficiency and make better decisions on the edge. We currently have our products right on the drilling rigs. A lot of times, these platforms are fairly large, and they’ll have five or six radios on a drilling rig, maybe even more, that are wirelessly interconnected. Our products are also used on the pipeline to measure the flow of the natural gas going through that pipeline as well as the temperature. Some of our radios are used in the terminals to connect a tank to the back office or monitor a fracking pond to make sure there are no leaks. Honestly, I feel like every week, I learn a new way a customer uses our products. You think you know it all, and then someone else comes back and shares a different way they are using our solutions within their remote operation. Q: As you look at the future, and the role of IIoT within it, what excites you the most? Dennis: The common theme I keep seeing in technology is automation. Our population here in North America and even in Europe is decreasing. Recently, I read a report that said there are two jobs available for every person that’s looking for employment. How do we fix that? Automation. The more we use IIoT, the more we can make better decisions without human intervention. Machine learning, autonomy at the edge, and computerized systems, these things all make a big difference in the day-to-day management of our operations. I think we forget just how much more efficient and productive our lives are today because of technology. When I look at my life and think about the evolution of basic TV to streaming services or the transformation of the bag phone to the iPhone, I’m really amazed at how far we’ve come in such a

Unlocking Creativity within the Industrial Sector

Never content My friends and coworkers can attest that I live by the basic life philosophy: “never content.” I believe in pushing boundaries and resisting the status quo, both in business and leadership. As I see it, we have two options in this life: we can sit on our laurels and wait for change or take things into our own hands and innovate. Thanks to the industrial internet of things (IIoT), our opportunities for change and transformation are endless. The more willing we are to be free thinkers — expanding the territories of our respective industries, the larger the impact we’ll witness in the world around us. The key to true transformation Most people can agree that innovation is the key to success in the industrial sector. If we keep doing things the way we’ve always done them, we won’t have much of a world left in short order. My kids are now in their twenties, and quite frankly, they’re pissed at the environment the generations before them left behind. I understand their frustration; it’s no secret that we’re facing a global environmental crisis, and without positive change, things will only get worse. If we truly want to be a part of the solution, we have to think bigger. We must become free thinkers, willing to do more than what’s been done to actually see the kind of transformation we’re looking for. Today, IIoT helps us expand our thinking. We are only on the cusp of what edge computing and data analytics can do in remote areas. Data helps us make sound decisions. When you think about where our day-to-day information is generated and how it is analyzed, you can actually imagine a world where operational managers don’t have to walk the fields, manually check pressure gauges, or physically adjust pumps to gather intel. With the right technology in place, these tasks can all be automated, which means a natural skyrocket in productivity and efficiency for remote operations worldwide. This is truly exciting because it means a shift in the culture of business, environmentalism, and sustainability. When industrial leaders and remote operations managers are given more time and space to think, they can innovate on a whole new level. Where does this lead us?  Straight to the intersection of modern technology and inventiveness, where we all have the opportunity to create a safer, stronger, and more innovative world. This is great news for the modern business owner because it means the opportunity to create stronger work models and a more efficient workflow, which naturally leads to greater employee retention and better cash flow. This is truly a win for all. The big picture As a whole, technology has provided extensive upgrades within the industrial sector over the last few decades, but in reality, until IIoT came around at a large scale, just within the last few years, we didn’t have the data needed to actually know or understand what was going on. Data is great, but intelligent insight into that data is even better. Now, thanks to the ever-expanding world of technology, we can analyze data intelligently and utilize it more effectively. With this type of smart equipment on the market, field workers can do things like monitor a banana plantation from formation all the way to the supermarket. Where before, we could only know that a banana was picked and on a boat to its next destination, we now have the technology and subsequent opportunities to see things, like product quality, faster and more clearly. Free thinking at an industrial level requires our willingness to try new things. It means creating and implementing out-of-the-box solutions to common problems. It means searching for new ways to perform basic tasks and habits. It means finding new solutions for life’s tried and true issues. Sure the modern farmer may be used to turning the same lever on and off every single day, but with the right technology in place, they don’t have to. Free thinking means moving beyond the status quo to see and receive a world filled with new possibilities. Over the next few years, we’re going to see billions of dollars spent on data processing and analysis solutions. The more we know, the more we can respond to real-life situations with confidence and precision. The current financial trends and predictions are important because they reveal that our world is ready for change. Now is the time to innovate. Think bigger A crucial part of our strategy at FreeWave is implementation without dictation. This means we fully empower our customers to be free thinkers within their own environments. We want you to have full control over the information you receive and how you use it. Our job is simply to make your life easier by deploying the technology you need — edge computing capabilities, wireless connectivity, sensor technology, and more to help you manage your operation from anywhere in the world. Our IIoT solutions are designed with a simple-to-use control panel (aka our single pane of glass dashboard) so that you can run your entire operation from a singular entry point. We are no strangers to the work of free-thinking here at FreeWave (it’s part of our name as well as our culture). In our own business model, we’ve had to expand our ideas and our identity as a leader in the tech space. For many years FreeWave rode its pedigree of building and selling narrowband radios without much thought toward innovation, but then, we recognized the need our customer base faced as they searched for help in understanding what IIoT could mean for their businesses. We could’ve stayed as we were and continued to do what we did best at the time, but instead, we chose to pivot and really dig into our customers’ needs and how we could best serve them. Now, our solutions include multi-radio edge computing solutions with gateways, edge data analytics and applications, and it all started with our team’s willingness to think bigger. Free

Technology Revealed: Unraveling Data Accessibility for Industrial IoT

Our world is full of endless possibilities. Thanks to modern technology, we are more digitally connected than ever before. According to Statista, there will be upwards of 30.9 billion connected internet of things (IoT) devices by 2025. From smartwatches and traffic cameras to medical sensors and security systems, the more technology in effect, the more data we are able to collect.  If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times: data is everywhere, and it continues to be an incredible asset for leaders across industrial environments. Today, our widespread access to data allows us to make informed and intelligent decisions based on accurate intel. Something as simple as knowing soil moisture levels or the outside temperatures helps us respond to environmental needs in strategic ways. While data accessibility is undoubtedly a positive thing, it doesn’t mean much if we don’t have the tools needed to act upon those same data insights available to us, and this is where technology makes a tremendous difference, especially for industrial leaders. When we take the revolutionary power of the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and pair it with the wide range of data metrics available, we can intentionally foster better industrial environments across the globe. Our increased access to data, paired with the modern revolution of IIoT technology, allows us to respond to real-world problems with timeliness, precision and contextual intelligence. Together, this dynamic pair fosters safer, faster and more efficient environments for all. The power of time and context When it comes to data accessibility and Industrial IoT, there are many profound revelations of impact, time being just one of them. In industrial environments, timing is everything. It’s the difference between a healthy crop and a wasted harvest for the smart farmer; it’s the difference between an uncontrolled wildfire and a self-contained outbreak for the modern firefighter; it’s even the difference in what could’ve been merely a small oil leak rather than the environmental disaster we now know as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Data accessibility provides us with timely information on the surrounding contexts of our environments, and with the right tools, we can respond to this information faster and more efficiently than ever before. Contextual intelligence  Next in line to the value of timing, lies the power of contextual data, also known as contextual intelligence. Contextual intelligence is a game-changer for the industrial leader, as it provides a deeper level of understanding and offers an enhanced sense of accuracy for production. Think of any environmental disaster, be it a forest fire, dust storm or even a carbon monoxide leak. While IoT solutions cannot prevent these events from happening, they can provide immediate insight to these occurrences based on contextual analysis. With the right sensors in place, data is retrieved and distributed, making room for timely interception. With the proper insight, operational leaders and manufacturers can observe what’s happening in critical environments and make intelligent decisions based on the contextual data available. Today, IIoT solutions allow us to control external environments virtually anywhere in the world without laborious human intervention. In this modern age, the simple switch of a button or command from a control center can adjust the outputs of remote operations everywhere. We call it a single pane of glass approach. When emergencies arise that need immediate attention, these same IIoT solutions help us respond quickly and efficiently, ultimately maximizing people’s time more effectively. The role of intelligence In addition to time and context, the third component is intelligence. Data takes the guesswork out of problem-solving and invites us to respond with precision-based strategies. Think about smart farmers, for example. With proper insight into the correct data like soil moisture levels, external temperatures, climate measurements and other relevant intel, these farmers can cultivate the most favorable conditions for a quality harvest. Without this information, farming becomes a guessing game that varies from year to year, but when this data is paired with IIoT solutions, agriculture becomes much more about intelligent strategy. Looking ahead, the digitization of farming is quickly becoming a necessary solution. Our world population is rapidly increasing every day, leading us to grow by 2 billion people in the next 30 years alone! A significant increase in people requires a significant need for accelerated food production. In fact, it’s reported that we will need to increase crop yields and harvest more food in the next 30 years than we’ve had to produce for the last 10,000 years combined. Though these statistics are extreme, they don’t have to be alarming because with the right technology in place, society will be up for the task at hand. The interconnected work of data and IIoT takes smart farming to a whole new level, making it less of a gamble and more of a controllable process from seed to harvest. Beyond the world of just smart agriculture, data impacts the role and work of IIoT solutions across every industry, including water and wastewater, electricity, oil and gas, transportation and traffic and many others. Our ability to access data empowers us to leverage IIoT technology most intelligently; it’s the “work smarter, not harder” mindset at its finest. Technological pioneers At FreeWave Technologies, we are passionate about creating real-world solutions for everyday needs across industries. In a world that is changing with rapid succession, connectivity is critically important for industry leaders, remote operations and the basic good of society. We need tools and products that help us act on data quickly and precisely, and our line of products is helping our customers do just that. FreeWave products take the complexity of industrial IoT applications and simplify them for the user, creating a digitization strategy that connects data with life. Our easy-to-use applications allow controllers to respond to their deployed assets from one place with timeliness, intelligence and precision. At FreeWave, we are pioneering a new way forward, promoting connection, safety and innovation along the way. The world is evolving rapidly and shows no signs of stopping, so we are taking each

The Unlikely Marriage of Sustainability and IIoT

When I think about technology’s impact on sustainability, I think about home.  I live in California, and earlier this year there was a fire in my area which, unfortunately, destroyed a lot of houses and affected many families. Luckily, because my city deployed industrial internet of things (IIoT) solutions for fire protection services, they were able to detect this fire early on and prevent further damage in the area. In this scenario, IIoT solutions provided timely insights which allowed the appropriate resources to respond faster, creating a better and safer future for my community. The unlikely pair  Sustainability is a widespread conversation these days, and for good reason – a more environmentally conscious world equals better quality of life for us all. As such, electric cars are on the rise, paper straws are everywhere and many companies are doing their part to minimize their carbon footprint. As a collective, we are making great strides in our attempt to create more eco-friendly communities. Amidst our best efforts, however, many may not realize the positive and profound role modern technology, specifically IIoT, can have on our journey towards a greener society. This may come as a surprise, but now more than ever, IIoT is playing a key role in realizing our sustainability goals. Real-world change  Today, IIoT technology is completely enhancing our approach to transformative environmental practices by providing the power of response. By implementing IIoT into our data, we can do much more than just monitor data; we can actually respond to data by pulling trends, sending out alerts, leveraging artificial intelligence and so much more. IIoT allows us to take data-driven action, and this is ultimately having a significant impact on the environment and entire industries across the globe. Industry-wide impact  In 2015, The United Nations Member States all adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This global partnership calls countries into action to create a stronger planet by implementing eco-friendly strategic practices to achieve 17 different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Technology plays a significant role in realizing these SDGs. In fact, there are a variety of industries becoming more sustainable because of IIoT. Let’s look at energy, for example. Recently, the energy space began implementing environmental and social governance (ESG) criteria. Now, different organizations can receive access to various federal funds depending on their ability to meet ESG standards. Without the use of IIoT practices, procedures and functions, these organizations could not make the improvements needed to contribute to their environmental goals. With the use of IIoT, these same companies can effectively monitor and manage environmental assets through automated procedures that contribute to more efficient industries and remote work environments across the board. Ultimately, IIoT technology offers the insight and practical solutions needed for these companies to create positive structural changes. The benefits don’t stop there. We’ve all heard or read that our water supply is endangered, and this is not just a California issue, like many assume; it’s a widespread problem that needs immediate attention. The rapid rate of water decrease is not just a byproduct of human consumption, it is also a direct result of everyday processes, industrialization and the ever-changing climate. Today, IIoT products are providing simple solutions to monitor timely data metrics like rainfall rate and water consumption. These solutions respond to water shortages and water waste in innovative ways. Through IIoT, we now have the ability to adjust and adapt our behaviors based on data visualizations, and throughout the process, greater sustainability is achieved worldwide. The IIoT difference on finite resources  With sustainability, the goal is really to manage the lifespan of an existing asset, be it drinking water, livestock, oil and gas, the list goes on, and with IIoT technology, we can better control our ability to manage these assets. While the desire to be more sustainable is not new, there have always been technical and cost limitations, but now, IIoT provides practical and cost-effective opportunities for change. At FreeWave Technologies, we’re committed to improving life’s essentials through Industrial IoT solutions. Our full line of connected IIoT network solutions bring most needed data to operations teams wherever they are and our ready-to-deploy solutions play a significant role in environmental monitoring ultimately leading to safer and more sustainable communities. When it comes to Environmental IoT™ we are spearheading a new way forward, offering solution-based products that empower industrial leaders to manage their assets simply and intentionally. Our single pane of glass dashboard creates a singular view for our customer, allowing them to track, control and respond to timely data metrics in one place instead of multiple dashboards across applications. Products that solve problems are important, and that’s exactly what we’re providing at FreeWave. We’re shifting the culture of sustainability from altruism to action, and it’s making a substantial difference. At the end of the day, I care about the world that I’m leaving for the next generation. Every day I think about my two children and the world they’ll grow up in; I want to do my best to create a place where they can thrive, and I’m excited to be a part of an organization that is achieving just that.

Technology’s Impact on Air Quality Control Monitoring

At this very moment, wildfire season is currently underway in North America, and since the start of this year alone, more than 27,000 wildfires have consumed nearly two million acres according to the National Interagency Fire Center (www.nifc.gov). Though many people hear the word “wildfire” and immediately picture a forest in California, the reality is these natural disasters are prevalent across the country. Wildfires are everywhere  The Verge, a technology news website, announced recently that roughly 56% of homeowners in the United States face some sort of wildfire risk in the upcoming decades. Bottom line: wildfires are becoming more prevalent and costly every day, and these fires are affecting more than half the population and significantly changing our quality of life. Just a few decades ago, we didn’t have the technology to prevent or predict changes in the surrounding air quality, but now we do, and through it, we can create a better world. Today’s technological advancements allow us to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our overall health and safety. By leveraging sensor technology, we have a better chance of predicting and preventing significant changes in the environment, like a drastic shift in air quality before a wildfire begins. This insight allows us to make better decisions based on intentional insights, and our increased access to data provides us with the right information to better control our surrounding environments. Technology is powerful, and this power can and should be used to our advantage. One of my favorite ways to witness the power of technology transforming real-world issues is by exploring the ways sensor technology has a tremendous impact on air quality control monitoring. Today, internet of things (IoT) technology and satellite are the best tools for early detection and prevention of wildfires. Our approach to air quality control  Believe it or not, air quality has as much impact on the world as the daily temperature. With climate change causing drastic shifts in the environment, it’s important that we pay close attention to the quality of the air we breathe, as it affects our overall quality of life. As you know, trees play a critical role in our ecosystem, so we must be very intentional and proactive about protecting the forests around us. This is where sensor technology makes a big difference. With a small machine, we can now track and predict changes in the environment and our surrounding air quality, which ultimately helps us control, prevent and predict conditions that lead to wildfires. At FreeWave, we provide autonomous sensors that are strategically placed in remote locations to track and record relevant data metrics such as temperature, humidity, wind, direction and particulate matter. These readings help industry experts know what’s in the air and how the air is changing. Once this data is collected and transmitted to the cloud, we are then able to analyze it and provide alert and proactive responses where needed. We have created a single pane of glass approach, where anyone with access can log into a portal and see in real-time what is happening in the areas surrounding their deployed sensors. The interesting thing about our sensors is that they are fully powered by solar energy, and satellite signals transmit the recorded data. We are basically offering a “buy, install and forget” resource that makes life significantly easier for industry and environmental experts. There is a ton of value here. Not only are we taking an in-depth look at what’s going on in the environment through air quality control monitoring, but we are also taking that information and transforming it into action. The real gold here lies in the return on investment. A little money spent on these sensors upfront can ultimately save millions of dollars, lives and entire forest regions in the long run. Today, IoT technology allows us to prevent and control wildfires before they occur, and early fire detection leads to safer environments for us all. A unique human aid  We are making life simpler and safer for all by using technology to do what humans can’t. Back in the day, people had to sit in an operation tower for hours, looking out to catch any major changes in the environment. Today, there is a major shortage of people willing to do this kind of work, and can you blame them? As humans, we can only be in one place at a time doing one thing at a time, but with technology, this is not the case. With simple sensors, we can now monitor and control a lot more environments at a much more affordable rate. All this to say, the goal here is not to replace humans with technology as some might think; what we are really doing is enhancing human ability through the power of technology. I’ve worked in technology for over 30 years, and every day I witness its evolution. I know it’s hard to imagine a world without cell phones, but I can still clearly recall the days when cell phones took up the entire trunk of a car, and now look at the world, most of us carry the same ubiquitous smartphone in our pockets. Technology is amazing, and we have the opportunity to use it to our advantage. At FreeWave, we are taking the capabilities of mobility – LTE, 4G, Satellite, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 900 MHz– and marrying them with sensors. The data we gain from these sensors is saving us time, money and resources. At the end of the day, we’re taking away the need to “overthink” industry issues, like how to better prevent forest fires, and instead are replacing our questions with data-informed predictions and timely proactive responses. Every day, we strive to provide industry leaders with the tools and technology needed to spearhead faster and safer environments for us all. This is certainly not a boring business, and I thoroughly enjoy working for a company that is using technology to have an impact on the things that matter most.

Got Data? Now what?

It’s hard to imagine a world without the daily convenience of modern technology.   Just yesterday, I joked with my kids about the world before the internet – a time when we actually had to go to the library to look up unknown information. I can still remember the early days of my college career back in the late 90s, the internet had just come out, and we were all getting used to this new phenomenon called a “search engine.” Life has drastically changed over the last 25 years. Now, nearly all the information we want and need is at our fingertips.  Today, we have more access to data than most people know how to handle. Data is all around us, collected through the day-to-day actions and reactions of our lives. When we take the time to intentionally analyze, interpret and distribute the data metrics available to us, we can make smarter and more efficient decisions. There is so much to explore, and while our increased access to data is pretty interesting, the reality is that the combination of data and modern technology can change the world. Like many things, though, there are two sides. Sure, industrial companies can capture huge amounts of data, but it also raises the question: now what? How do you put all that data to work? Breaking barriers and pushing boundaries At the intersection of data and technology, we can push boundaries in work, business and society like never before. Data insights allow us to be more precise and accurate in our day-to-day work, which allows us to be more effective and efficient. The operational benefits here are endless, including improved quality control, reduced energy consumption, enhanced safety and increased operational consistency. Just take a look at the food industry, for example. Many field workers in smart agriculture rely heavily on data insights to control, predict and create the best environments for quality crops and harvest. The more accurate their predictions, the better their harvest, and the better their harvest, the faster we receive our food through the supply chain. Today, internet of things (IoT) technology can connect remote and mobile assets, like a tractor, for instant data access, making it easier for farmers to be more efficient and effective in their work. It’s really amazing when you think about it. Data is transforming how we operate in this world, creating better environments for us all. The FreeWave impact At FreeWave, we are constantly pushing the boundaries of technology to create faster, smarter and more efficient work environments. I’ve been a part of the FreeWave team since 2019, and I am constantly amazed at the ways our technology provides innovative solutions for real-world issues. Our products enable our customers to improve their work processes, and through our single pane of glass approach, we offer a simplified experience for businesses and industry leaders to receive automated technology that transforms data metrics into real-time execution. One of my favorite use cases to discuss is FreeWave customer that uses drone technology to deliver food and other valuable resources to far-reaching areas across the globe. With FreeWave products, they can run a smarter and more efficient operation. Their robotics delivery system is combating many of the complex access challenges the world faces on a daily basis. Our IoT technology is helping them solve complex issues with simplified tech solutions, and simple solutions create more time, energy and space to focus on what matters most: people. If you need a product to help you bridge the gap between technology and data, FreeWave is your solution. We are enablement partners, helping every one of our customers accomplish their complex goals. It’s inspiring to work with brands and businesses striving to create a difference in real-world issues. Our technology plays an intricate role in sustaining work environments and supporting entire industries around the globe. Data makes the difference At the end of the day, data is more than mere statistics; data is the key to our efficiency, productivity and safety. Data makes the difference in energy consumption reduction. Data makes the difference in the overall quality and safety of our daily environments. Data makes the difference in everything. Every day we have the opportunity to use data to our advantage, and at FreeWave, we are helping industrial innovators do just that. As technology continues to evolve, we will continue to provide top of the line IoT solutions that transform data into actionable insights and execution so you can not only access a treasure trove of data, but also know exactly how to answer the age-old question: now what?

Data is everywhere, even on Mount Everest: Sensor-to-cloud and extreme environments

Technology – from Mount Everest to the farm It’s amazing what technology can do when paired with human will. Just a few years ago, a team of scientists made history as they trekked up Mount Everest with the goal of running environmental studies. With backpacks full of sensors (which included FreeWave technology), these men pushed boundaries to create a new normal. When we intentionally use modern technology to our advantage, we can create better, safer and more productive environments within every industry. Today, the same technology used on Mount Everest is now powering multiple earth science programs transmitting sensor data from remote environments to earth scientists, climatologists and meteorologists through cloud servers. This is just one example of many where sensor-to-cloud solutions have transformed our ability to interact with extreme environments in the modern world.  A deeper look at extreme environments Typically, when someone thinks of an extreme environment, they imagine harsh, rugged terrain in a far-off remote location; however extreme environments aren’t limited by this definition. Take a large farm, for example, with a multitude of deployed assets and equipment across hundreds of acres. Traditionally, an operation like this requires an employee to physically check on the farm equipment multiple times a week, manually turning valves on and off, in addition to monitoring and controlling the overall farm environment. These day-to-day tasks are not only time-consuming but physically draining. In this case, the operational output required on the farm makes it an operationally extreme environment, and extreme environments are just one space where sensor-to-cloud solutions shine. Sensor-to-cloud in the real world Today, sensor-to-cloud systems utilize deployed sensors to collect and transmit data from remote locations. These sensors send the gathered information back to cloud servers for further research and analysis, enabling entire teams to utilize their limited time and resources more effectively. With sensor-to-cloud systems, we eliminate the often-laborious mechanics of middlemen procedures so that industry leaders can focus on what matters most. Let’s revisit that farming example. With sensor-to-cloud technology, farmers can automate the repetitive tasks of their operations. Something as simple as discrete soil sensors further allow farmers to virtually monitor their crop health, creating more time and space to focus on other high-value tasks. This gives them time, often an invaluable asset, to do what’s needed. In a sense, we can improve the productivity of an operation with an automated suite of  sensor systems. Imagine the difference a network of sensors can make. The FreeWave difference For several years now, FreeWave products have been a leading resource solution for extreme environments. Our sensors were a part of the great Mount Everest expedition, and today, we have deployed sensors in many areas, including pipelines in Alaska, ice shelves in Antarctica, smart farms across the country and many other locations – rugged and traditional. We are providing the groundbreaking technology needed to monitor data in extreme environments so that our partners and customers can make the best, informed decisions for their operations. As the Chief Technology and Product Officer at FreeWave, I am constantly amazed at the impact our products have on the world. We are working with some of the major brands of our time, helping them solve massive problems affecting society at large. Our technology solutions serve entire industries, like oil and gas, agriculture, transportation and traffic, as well as many others that contribute to the well-being of the globe.  It is great to be a part of a company where we can say our products are a part of the solution for life’s essentials. Every day, we help industry leaders identify their pain points and provide them with a single pane of glass product solution that helps them see the data wherever they are without the drain of additional resources. Our rich portfolio of radios, gateways, cloud software and analytics allows us to stitch together a range of packaged ready to use  applications that solve our customer’s problems through simple, turn-key solutions. Sensor-to-cloud in the future Data is everywhere, and now more than ever, we have the tools and resources we need to digitize the world around us. As we build the future, sensor-to-cloud solutions will continue to play a critical role in gathering, processing and managing data in extreme environments around the globe. As I look at the world before us, I see endless opportunities to continue to leverage technology and data to build a better and more informed life.

Technology Simplified: Leveraging Data in the New Digital Era

Excited by tomorrow, we face a new world filled with endless possibilities each day. Thanks to modern technology, simple sensors open the doors to our favorite restaurant, edge computing allows manufacturers to spot and correct production glitches before they happen, and high-tech traffic cameras analyze and record thousands of license plates daily to spot stolen and unregistered vehicles while also identifying suspected criminals. It’s no secret that the world is evolving before our eyes, and through the technological advancements of this digital era, we are creating a more efficient world. The power of data Data is a powerful tool of knowledge, and lucky for us, it’s everywhere! Every one of our actions is driven by a manual process of data – like the simple act of putting on a jacket when it gets cold, or an automated process of data – like a valve instinctively shutting off when a water tank gets full. Today we have the technology to effectively process, analyze and distribute data metrics in tremendously impactful ways. What does greater simplification look like for industrial leaders? Remote operations simplified When leveraged effectively, industrial internet of things (IIoT) solutions take remote operations to the next level, simplifying the work process for teams and industries across the globe. Think about some of the most popular high-value remote assets today, like drones, video surveillance, or even center pivot irrigation systems – these entities perform so well because they do what humans can’t. In mere seconds, IIoT technology can process, distribute and respond to data that would otherwise take an entire team hours, days or even weeks to achieve. In the not so distant past, industrial operations relied solely on data consumption (i.e., how much water is in the tank; what temperature is the water), but today, advancements give us the ability to respond nearly instantaneously to that collected data with actionable execution. Today we can view and control the management of an entire operation remotely on our cell phone. We can see how much water is in a tank or what temperature that water is at and automatically change and adjust the water levels and temperatures from near or far. As a result, the amount of time, resources and energy needed to run businesses has transformed entirely, and this evolution allows us to create an enhanced world and standard of work. Simple deployment Remote operations are oftentimes in rugged terrain, making them difficult or even impossible to access. At FreeWave, we solve this complex issue by providing pre-configured ready-to-deploy solutions, complete with everything needed to achieve the mission at hand. For example, through FreeWaves’s  joint venture with ModuSense, we’re simplifying connectivity to cloud with a variety of pre-configured and ready to deploy monitoring and sensing solutions by supplying the entire solution with a 12-month data plan, dashboard, 12W rapid recharge solar panel, satellite connectivity and Bluetooth connectivity. You can use your mobile phone to validate the data directly from the gateway without having to wait for satellite transmission. We all know the “gotchas” when it comes to buying technology. Simple deployment means you’re ready from day one, without needing to buy additional components. Real-world impact As Chief Operating Officer and SVP of Global Sales and Marketing at FreeWave, I get a front-row seat to the real-life impact modern-day technology is having on lives, businesses and entire industries. The essentials of life have become simplified, and in the process, more people and businesses receive greater access to the things that matter most like critical information, metrics and potential outcomes. Creating a more sustainable world and preserving natural resources like food, air, energy and water have been at the forefront of IIoT since FreeWave began almost three decades ago when we brought long range, low power consumption, C1D2, 900 MHz connectivity and radio technology products to our customers. Since then, our connectivity options have greatly expanded by adding EDGE Compute, Software, Industry Protocol Conversions, Data Broker & Cloud, a complete end to end solution and with it comes the responsibility for greater environmental stewardship. We’ve all seen the devastating impact an environmental catastrophe, like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, can have on the globe. Simple mistakes can and do cause enormous repercussions that affect us all. The truth is, with human interaction there will always be the cost of time and possible room for error. Technology, however, is different, as it allows us to not rely solely on human capacity and depend more on interconnected and advanced systems. Now, we don’t have to wait for someone to run into a situation or crisis and manually pull a lever or travel to turn off a valve. Instead, preprogrammed automation or a simple click of a button or flip of a switch from virtually anywhere in the world can control your high value remote assets. FreeWave is  a technological pioneer in the 21st century. We have connected the unconnected with a reliable ecosystem of edge intelligent radios and solutions to optimize the extreme edge of remote industrial operations. Through our single IIoT platform, we provide expanded capabilities for data capture, analysis, control and automation. Our single pane of glass approach provides a simple, single vendor, one-stop-shop solution for remote operations worldwide. At the end of the day, when we take the power of data monitoring and funnel it through modern technology, we open ourselves up to a new world of endless possibilities and opportunities. It’s one thing to have data; it’s an entirely different thing to know how to leverage that data. At FreeWave, we are constantly pushing the boundaries of data monitoring and modern technology through our IIoT solutions and creating a better, safer and faster world of work for industries around the globe.

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