Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Automated recovery from satellite blockage zones

In a previous post called How to know if your antenna is down or just blocked, we showed how Uplogix can send alerts when a vessel's satellite antenna enters a known blockage zone. This can be a handy capability for providing rapid notification for service providers or even alerting a ship's captain about the loss of connectivity.

But why stop there? Knowing there is a problem is useful, but what if the problem could just be solved automatically? With the Uplogix platform's local connection to both antenna controller and satellite modem, plus a rules engine to evaluate incoming data and take action, there are options for automated recovery from a blockage zone.

This video except (about 1 minute long) from a recent webinar with Cobham Sea Tel describes the process of changing from one satellite that becomes blocked to another satellite within view of the antenna:

In locations with strong satellite coverage, it is possible to pre-set alternate satellite targeting information for when a vessel enters a blockage zone. Uplogix monitors heading information and uses rules to compare it to known blockage zones. When a blockage zone is entered, Uplogix pushes a new configuration file to both the antenna and the satellite modem, retargeting the ship's comms on the secondary satellite and restoring the link.

Conversely, when the vessel's heading changes and the primary satellite is available again, Uplogix can push the initial configuration files and return operations to the primary state.