When we talk about Sensor-2-Server (S2S) applications, we tend to lean towards examples of common industrial communication networks for industries like oil and gas, utilities and municipalities. These application solutions typically incorporate the transfer of data from edge devices back to a specific server for use cases such as pump and tank monitoring or SCADA systems. However, as Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications transform alongside the adoption of the Internet of Things(IoT), the types of applications that require connectivity at the edge are virtually endless.
If we step back and look at the big picture, it is clear the entire landscape of technology is changing. With these changes we foresee the decline of standalone RF technology. Decision makers need Big Data in to make intelligent decisions that will transform their business operations and save them time and money. S2S communication networks are designed to address this challenge by driving intelligent transmissions from a specific location back to the appropriate server with the necessary intelligence to drive action for change.
As technology evolves to meet industry demands, RF technology must adapt to meet new needs. We’re already seeing this happen in the industrially hardened, wireless communications industry. Some wireless IoT communication solutions providers are offering platforms to host third-party applications in addition to creating the communication links for devices.
Along with this widespread technology change, we have begun to see new and exciting ways that modern RF technology solutions can be leveraged in an S2S network. Here are some nontraditional real-life examples of S2S applications:
- S2S communications to connect satellite communication dishes in remote locations where there is little to no cell coverage. The solutions extend communications and create a single POC for all of the remote locations.
- Monitoring cold storage food at distribution centers for a large US Supermarket chain where the cold storage warehouses are 500 feet X 500 feet and are located several hundred feet away from the monitoring room.
- RTK base station communications to improve data and correlation for an Electric Car manufacturer.
- Remote access to GPS Stations for improved data transfer in order to complete ocean mapping.
- Irrigation control on golf courses.
For most industrial organizations there is a clear push towards complete connectivity from the sensors at the edge of the network all the way back to the central server. We often talk about data collection for familiar applications in oil and gas, utilities and smart cities. However, the reality of today’s technology transformation is that any industrial communication network, regardless of the industry, will likely need to connect its edge devices and eventually program its edge through third party applications in order to take the most cost effective approach and drive intelligent operational decisions.