Why Digital Transformation Is Impossible Without Satellites
Energy companies now can get more oil out of the ground using vast amounts of data that makes their offshore exploration more accurate, using a satellite uplink to transmit the data from oil rigs up to space and then off to the cloud.
Recent advances in satellite technology are bringing more focus to the role satellites can play in digital infrastructure projects, especially as these projects increasingly leverage cloud hosting and cloud services. While satellites are not a new technology, new innovations continue to emerge that are allowing space and cloud to work together to deliver greater value.
Today, many organizations are looking at satellites not just to connect remote locations or provide more bandwidth to supplement terrestrial networks but also to open new possibilities in edge computing, private 5G, internet of things (IoT), big data, digital twins, and more and do so at scale and with the flexibility to deliver connectivity where the computing happens.
Satellites are enabling automation-related technologies to operate in the most remote locations with seamless connectivity, acting as fiber in the sky. For example, in the commercial shipping industry, large vessels are using new applications that automate navigation systems and on-board operations systems. This is important because the International Maritime Organization is starting to mandate fuel and energy efficiency standards for vessels of a certain size. Shipping companies can face fines if they don’t meet the new standards, which will go into effect in the coming years. Technology can play a key role in improving efficiency and keeping large vessels compliant with the standards, while making shipping companies greener in the future.
In addition, IoT-based instrumentation can be used for the cargo on the ship as well, tracking where containers are located or if they have been moved to a new location. This prevents loss of valuable assets and inventory and reduces time spent by humans (manually) looking for containers that may have been misplaced. This IoT automation also saves time, improves efficiency, and reduces costs.
Industrial companies are continually looking to get better yields out of traditional processes that have been around for many years. This can help both the top line and bottom line for firms of all sizes. One example is the oil and gas industry. Energy companies now can get more oil out of the ground using vast amounts of data that makes their offshore exploration more accurate, using a satellite uplink to transmit the data from oil rigs up to space and then off to the cloud. There are thousands of sensors on an oil rig that can track subsurface oceanic and seismic information. This is a lot of raw data that needs to be transmitted back to cloud systems for analysis. Big data engines can then synthesize meta-data sets that can be used at the exploration sites for more targeted exploration and extraction. This makes the exploration more efficient, uses less energy, and makes the overall process greener and more cost-effective.