Techno flash #1
What is the Kinéis connectivity?
From your connected devices all around the globe to the statistics computed on your computer, you won’t believe that your data have traveled so far!
Kinéis finds its origins in the Argos system, a data collection and localization system created in 1978 from a French-American cooperation involving CNES (French Space Agency) and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), with support from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Until June 2019, the company CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellite) was missionned by CNES to operate Argos. Before public GNSS systems (GPS, Galileo…) were even available, Argos allowed to localize thousands of beacons around the globe using the Doppler Effect. But it was also the first data collection system by satellite, originally for environmental applications, decades before the Internet of Things (IoT) made its breakthrough.
Today, Kinéis leverages this 40-year experience with the Argos system to offer tomorrow’s low-power satellite IoT connectivity, available everywhere. This connectivity relies on the first European constellation of nanosatellites that, together with a network of innovative ground stations, allows for low-power, simple and affordable connected devices. Each device transmits data to the satellites passing overhead, which then forward these data to the stations on the ground to be processed at Kinéis’ service center and eventually delivered to the user.
From a fixed fuel tank in your backyard to a refrigerated container being shipped across the ocean, a huge variety of objects has a need for remote monitoring. For all these objects, Kinéis offers a satellite IoT connectivity that enables worldwide geo-localization as well as data collection. To access this IoT connectivity, two main components are needed: a low-power low-size transceiver and an antenna allowing to transmit very quickly 30-Byte messages at a power as low as 100 milliWatts. From this base, make it application-specific by integrating additional features: sensors for in-situ data acquisition, more or less battery power regarding your needs – potentially increased by an energy-harvesting technology -, and a shiny custom-designed casing to protect the whole.
Ever felt powerless with your smartphone in hand but no signal? No surprise, terrestrial-based networks cannot cover the whole planet (only 15% of it actualy), as the base stations simply cannot be deployed across oceans, deserts or atop mountains and are not considered profitable enough to be deployed in remote and low-populated areas. Besides, managing the roaming between many operators when moving from one country to another is often a nightmare for device manufacturers.
Kinéis connectivity relies on a constellation of polar low-earth orbit satellites, which means they provide true global coverage. From just a few hundreds of kilometers above our heads, they receive the signals from any IoT devices during their 10-mn pass, and forward them to the nearest ground station.
Today, Kinéis is fully operational with the 8 Argos payload, hosted on our partners’ satellites inherited from the historical Argos system, which already enable anyone to collect up to several messages per hour from any device. In 2023, a new constellation of 25 dedicated nanosatellites will offer enhanced performances to achieve a near real-time connectivity. The size of a shoe box, these 16U satellites (40x20x20cm) weigh less than 30kg and benefit from an electric propulsion for orbit correction and collision avoidance, powered by a pair of solar panels.
By the way, some satellites are also equipped with a second payload of high performance AIS detection, for the monitoring of worldwide maritime traffic.
Back on Earth, Kinéis operates a network of ground stations distributed all around the globe to receive the signals collected and forwarded by the satellites. With state-of-the-art phased array antennas, the ground stations will be able to track several satellites at once and make sure they do not miss any data. This way, each satellite will be assured to find an available ground station on its way, right after having collected data from a device.
Once these data are finally back on the ground, they are transferred via a secure Internet link to the 24/7-operational service center. Until now, they still consist of a series of bits including encoded but essential information: ID number, data length, error-correction code… At the service center, Kinéis sorts out the useful data, corrects the errors, performs the computation of Doppler-based locations and finally distributes the data to the corresponding user. A web interface is made available to the user for subscription management, service settings, and configuration of the data retrieval strategy through standard API.
From all around the globe, your objects stay connected and your data available. Thanks to the New Space, keep in touch with all your valuable items!