With ARGOS-INSIDE, the CLS business development aims to bring new perspectives to the 40 years old satellite based ARGOS system with the emergence of IoT and its forecasted rapid extension at a global scale.
Many applications need to be connected. However, none of the current system allow to provide global coverage and low prices. There is a real need of autonomous connectivity to follow large scale of assets that CLS is able to fulfil. The basement of such ambition will be the hybridization of a recently developed Argos chipset with terrestrial communication devices (GSM, Lora…) to fill the gaps on ground station coverage. The objective of a low cost and small size terminal is a sine qua none condition for the success of the future service. The Argos chipset will play a central role in this. The objectives also include the required evolution of the Argos business model.
Users and their needs
Three applications domains are particularly targeted in the study. They have been prioritized as they correspond to user needs expressed by CLS customers or contacts. They are listed hereafter:
- Container shipping
- Artisanal fishing
- Equipment operation control
Different user communities are identified :
- Artisanal or traditional fishing: fishing authorities and fishermen
- Humanitarian aids: UN organizations
- Containers tracking: Maritime shipping company
Needs vary according to different use case but some main needs can be sum up as following:
Service/ system concept
Whatever, the domain of application (small scale fisheries, humanitarian aids or ship containers), as soon as a message form an hybrid terrestrial-satellite device is generated, the Argos Inside processing center process the data and without delay send the related information to the user. The service is 7/7 and 24/24 all around the World.
Space Added Value
The space assets that are considered in this feasibility study are as follows:
- The Kineis satellite constellation, the extension of the present Argos global system low data rate message satellite constellation as a space base IoT complement to GSM or IoT mobile communication terrestrial systems
- The GPS (Satellite Navigation) that will provide the position of the device.
Note that ARGOS or Kineis also offers the capability to localize ground platform based on Doppler effects. Such capability even if less accurate than the GNSS, may be useful as an alternative or for integrity check. However, it is not central in the scope of that study.
The user needs and user requirements have been established for the three domains of Argos Inside envisaged applications. The service and system design is ongoing. A PoC is planned by the end of 2018 for fishermen on small boats with a specifically designed prototype device. According to Kineis, the new constellation, some important activities have started as can be seen in https://www.kineis.com/en/