Globalstar Data Processing Services

Globalstar – The Company

Globalstar data from GPS and other devices is harvested and transmitted by their network of LEO (low earth orbit) satellites. This network provides coverage for 80% of the earth’s surface. They are the premier low-cost satellite communications provider for our industry. When cellular services simply do not provide enough coverage and two-way communication is not needed, Globalstar is the recognized cost-effective leader.

The Globalstar vision statement clearly communicates that connectivity is one of the great commodities in people’s lives today and they are committed to sustainment of the most reliable communication services.

 

 

 

Raw Globalstar Data Processing for Custom Solutions

Fleet managers face significant programming challenges and expense when planning to implement Globalstar data. First of all, developers must decode the data from the device. The data from Globalstar devices is delivered in a complex code string. Each number in the code string means something, similar to a VIN code on a vehicle.

 

Auto Zone VIN breakdown

 

 

 

In contrast, Globalstar code strings are not straightforward like a VIN. The code string must be translated into a usable format before being processed. Only then can you direct the data to the correct destination and insert it into a database. This requires infrastructure and extensive development.

Fortunately, Fleetistics offers a service that covers these steps. The processed data is provided to clients via API. Clients use the API to insert the data into their database, and it is available for use as needed by the customer.

The Fleetistics data service enables customers to implement Globalstar technology significantly faster, and moves the maintenance of the APIs and processing service to Fleetistics. As new Globalstar devices, protocols and services are updated, Fleetistics updates the web service to support all Fleetistics customers.

 

 

Small and Medium Size Business Challenges

 

 

AT-5500C Asset Tracker

This technology is readily available for use, but Globalstar products provide raw data. They do not provide a one size fits all user interface that allows you to consume Globalstar data and integrate it into your daily business operations.

Fleetistics has the back end for Globalstar data products in place and ready for you to use. GPS location reporting is integrated into the MyFleetistics portal, complete with monitoring and event alerts for your mobile assets almost anywhere. You can have all the advantages without taking on a costly and complicated development project.

 

 

Integrated Solutions

MyFleetistics existing Asset Tracker integration provides a user-friendly interface to view Globalstar tracking updates. We also provide a variety of premium services in addition to standard GPS asset tracking. After hours Priority Notification Service, Globalstar data displayed on road, satellite, or weather maps, and forecast weather overlays are just a few of the choices. We also have a device health view connected to our tech-support services that allows you to quickly identify devices displaying low battery voltage, and devices that have not reported.

Fleetistics turns that raw Globalstar data into valuable and easily consumable business intelligence, without the hassle of developing in house. Call us today for a live demo or to discuss your custom integration needs.

Selecting An Asset Tracker

Selecting an asset tracker is an important decision. Therefore taking the time to define your requirements is critical to getting it right the first time. Once an asset tracker is deployed it is difficult and expensive to service or replace when unforeseen issues arise. Clearly defining your top priorities prevents costly mistakes. In contrast many cool features are tempting to pursue, but sticking to the core functionality you require results in better decision making.

Available Networks for Asset Trackers

First of all, choose the appropriate communications network. Satellite communication is more expensive but works in remote areas. Cellular communication allows for more data and is less expensive, but may not work in remote areas. This one variable cuts the number of available devices and solutions to consider in half. Where cell service is not available, satellite tracking is the only reliable way to go.

Power Options for Asset Trackers

Next, determine how you will power the asset tracker. There are three primary choices but some systems offer a combination. You can connect to the asset’s power source, use battery powered devices, or solar powered devices that are recharging whenever exposed to light. Battery powered devices are available in rechargeable or replaceable battery models. The best power option is determined by many variables. Here are a few good questions to consider.

  • Do the assets often sit idle and unpowered?
  • How frequently are they moved?
  • Are the assets difficult to get to?

Solar devices are excellent choices when long life and low maintenance are concerns. Rechargeable devices work well for assets that are tended and moved frequently. In contrast, hard-wired devices are an excellent choice for yellow steel.

Purpose – What Data is Needed?

Finally, consider the amount and type of data needed to meet your asset tracking goals. Ultimately your return on investment depends upon getting the right data.

While construction equipment often warrants a GPS device that updates more often when in motion than when idle, trailers scattered across the country can be managed with a single daily location update. Understanding how the asset tracker reports is key to meeting your goals.

There are a few other decisions to make, but these will become more obvious as you narrow down the choices for asset trackers. Weather resistance, ease of installation, availabilty of replacement batteries, and PTO monitoring capability are factors to consider. Creating a spreadsheet to document the variables for each asset tracer you are considering is very helpful. Follow the process, and in the end the decision will be clear.

Choosing an Asset Tracker

Choosing an Asset Tracker

Understanding the features, cost and communication method is essential to selecting an asset tracker. Asset trackers vary features and one key feature might dramatically improve your ROI. The first step to getting it right is to make a list of the features you must have and the features you would like to have. Find asset trackers that have the “must have” features and work from there. Getting everything in writing and demonstrated is also important. Your concept of a feature might very different from that of the sales rep.

 

Getting What You Need, Will Save You Money

There are several things to consider when investing in a GPS system to track assets. Thinking through these factors will ensure you make the right choice. You will notice that price is not a consideration listed. When dealing with $250,000+ equipment or $10,000 utility carts, the price difference between a $200 asset tracker and a $400 asset tracker is irrelevant if you get what you need.

 

Rugged Construction

Obviously, the environment for tracking heavy equipment is quite harsh on electronics. At a minimum, you want an IP-67 rating. Asset trackers should least be weatherproof, dust proof and designed to handle the high vibration found on equipment. Few units are designed to withstand pressure washing from less than 3 feet. When selecting an asset tracker get the technical specification sheet available for all devices. View GO Rugged

 

Backup Battery

A common feature requested is a backup battery. A backup battery can play a key role but batteries have limitations ranging from a last gasp transmission to a reduced reporting profile so the battery can last longer if the main power is disconnected. Get a clear understanding of the battery size and expected performance so you can make a good decision. Selecting an asset tracker without a backup battery means the device must always have power to function. If constant power is an issue, focus on the size of the battery and how the device performs when running on battery power. View System

 

Right Data

Ultimately the selecting an asset tracker means getting the data YOU need, not what the sales rep wants to sell you. Having a clear understanding of what is required from the data and what data you would like to have before you shop for an equipment tracking system will make your buying process more efficient.

It is important to keep the list of required data as short as possible. The more required data, the fewer your choices. If engine hours are required, almost any equipment tracker will work. If you need engine diagnostics codes from a CAT, Komatsu, Case, John Deere or Bobcat, the choices are very limited and often expensive relative to less capable asset tracking systems.

Equipment tracking might be part of a bigger fleet management program. Therefore, the data provided by the equipment tracker may need to look like vehicle tracking data and be in the same interface. A system like the GO System enables fleet managers to see similar data, in the same interface and set the same alerts and reports. This convenience saves time in more complex fleet environments. If the requirements are simple and static, an independent system which is lower in cost might do the trick.

 

GO RUGGED WORKS WITH GO SYSTEM AS AN INTEGRATED FLEET MANAGEMENT PLATFORM – READ MORE

 

Sample Asset Tracker Requirements:

  1. IP67 rated for durability
  2. Backup battery to aid in theft recovery
  3. Location data to indicated productivity and aid in theft recovery
  4. GPS position every 10 minutes when in motion to indicate productivity
  5. GPS position every 24 hours when ignition is off for inventory & field service
  6. Tow alert movement without ignition, indicating theft
  7. Zone violation alert between 8 pm and 6 am Monday Sunday
  8. Engine hours for routine maintenance and tracking billable hours

 

Installing Asset Trackers

Installing an asset tracker or equipment tracker can be a challenge or as simple as slapping it on the top, depending on your intended use. The type of material and angle have a lot to do with getting good GPS location information. GPS trackers have a directional antenna and facing the antenna toward the ground or putting up against the metal frame will degrade the GPS signal. For instance, putting the GPS unit in the engine compartment is often not going to work.

As an anti-theft device you would want to place it in a location that is not obvious. The challenge is that where you want to hide it, it may not get a GPS signal. GPS signals are blocked by metal so be sure to test the location before putting everything back together. One idea is to put the GPS device in the light housing. Customers have purchase amber light housings on eBay for $20 and hid the GPS inside.

Put the GPS system in a location where it is not likely to get pressure washed. The driver is not going to know or pay attention to the IP67 limitation (debris and moisture rating) of not pressure washing from less than 3 feet. The driver might accidentally wash it from 1 foot forcing water into the unit which will not be covered by warranty.

Protect the connections by soldering the connections and then putting heat shrink tubing over the connections. Ideally the connections are out of the line of fire of pressure washing. You may need to build a shield or put the unit and connections behind something to protect it.

If have a need to track heavy equipment (yellow iron), skid steers, ATV, utility carts, trailers, train cars, cargo containers, generators, boats, motorcycles or just about anything, contact Fleetistics. With 16+ years of asset and vehicle tracking experience, Fleetistics provides a complete line of solutions to meet your needs. 855-300-0527 or www.fleetistics.com.