Makers, scientists and industry can now pre-order the world’s smallest two-way satellite communications platform with integrated antenna
Iridium satcom specialist Rock Seven has developed the worlds’ smallest plug & play two-way satellite communications system with integrated antenna. RockBLOCK 9603 is a scaled-down variant of the already compact RockBLOCK, an ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) satellite communication technology platform used by the ‘Maker’ community, schools, scientists and industry to integrate Machine-to-Machine (M2M) data communication over Iridium’s global satellite network.
Miniaturisation puts RockBLOCK 9603 front and centre for an even wider range of applications. So far RockBLOCK technology has been used on thousands of homegrown science and technology projects, from near space balloons and robot boats through to ocean drifter buoys – and for a host of commercial/industrial projects such as beehive monitoring, remote oil-well management and more. Professionals are using its data transmission capabilities to pull data from remote and hazardous locations, contributing to a greater understanding of climate change and i.e., safer maritime navigation.
Utilising the latest Iridium modem technology, Rock Seven engineers have managed to shrink the already compact RockBLOCK form factor down to just 45 mm x 45 mm x 15 mm, including its powerful antenna. The new RockBLOCK 9603 makes it even easier to add global data communication to technology projects, even when space is at a premium.
Despite its size, RockBLOCK 9603 delivers identical performance to the standard RockBLOCK in terms of data throughput and link reliability anywhere in the world (including the Arctic and Antarctic). Control and data transmission is over Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD), which sends very low-cost messages of 340 bytes and receives messages of 270 bytes. Uniquely, RockBLOCK 9603 is delivered complete with electronics, antenna and power conditioning in a single compact ‘ready to use’ module.
RockBLOCK 9603 is incredibly easy to use. It features an open API and interfaces seamlessly with all mainstream computing platforms from Windows, Mac and Linux through to the new breed of miniature computing hardware such as Arduino™, Raspberry PI™ and Intel Edison. These systems are the go-to-platforms of the Maker community and are widely used to power scientific and environmental research solutions in addition to marine technology innovations such as smart navigation buoys.
“RockBLOCK 9603 is an easily attainable system that allows users to do more with less,” said Nick Farrell, Director, RockBLOCK. “It’s not only the smallest two-way satcom system available for integration in homebrew and commercial projects, but also one of the least costly. The hardware itself is just $269* and the cost per message is measured in the low-cents. There’s no annual contract either. It really is the data communication system for all budgets and form factors and we can’t wait to see the innovative applications our users come up with for it.”