DMC’s client had an existing scientific device designed to collect oceanography data and upload it to a server via the Iridium satellite network. They had a request from a large customer to produce a similar device that was capable of uploading data via the ARGOS satellite network.
DMC worked closely with the customer to redesign the hardware and modify the existing software to support the new satellite modem and communication protocol. The requested communication protocol was analyzed to ensure the necessary performance could be met. Additionally, several modems were evaluated for cost, ease of integration, and performance.
The existing PCB was redesigned to support both the current Iridium modem and new Argos modem in the same design. This was done to simplify mechanical packaging and allow more boards to be stocked by the client. On the firmware, low-level drivers were implemented to allow communication and control of the new satellite modem. Data collection and sleep cycles were also optimized for use with the more limited capabilities of the Argos network. All firmware modifications were designed to match existing data decoding and test procedures in order to limit the changes in the client’s current procedures.
The result was a device that met the needs of the end-customer while keeping existing procedures, and software compatible with the new design.
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