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Enabling better global research outcomes in soil, plant & environmental monitoring.

Water Quality Hub

The Water Quality Hub is an ICT Universal Telemetry Hub configured with SDI-12 for use in water quality measurement.

The ICT International Telemetry Hub is a powerful and flexible electronic platform that operates remotely in any climate, forming the foundation for specialised scientific and industrial equipment systems.

Typically used as a telemetry gateway to transmit data from ICT International instruments to the ‘Cloud’, it is supported by an extensive software suite that can be customised to suit a wide range of IoT applications.

The Telemetry Hub can be optioned to communicate via Satellite (using the Iridium Short Burst Data service), Penta-band GSM, Wi-Fi, 2.4GHz proprietary wireless networking, Bluetooth, RS485, RS232, Ethernet, LoRa/LoRaWAN, USB and SDI-12. It can also be optioned to provide analogue and digital outputs and inputs.

Mini-Modules

Mini-Modules are either Communications, Control, Sensing, Media or User Interface type. They are quite small in size and are targeted at providing specific functions. Development of new application specific mini-modules is quick, low risk and cost effective. See table below with list of current modules.

Mini-module Selection Table:

Mini-Module Type Application
3G GSM module Communications Data to the ‘Cloud’ and remote system management
Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module Communications Communication with local wireless networks (intra or internet) or with individual mobile devices such as laptop PCs or mobile phones
2.4GHz wireless module Communications Proprietary networked communications between all ICT International devices and loggers – range up to about 5km depending on terrain and antenna selection
LoRa/LoRaWAN Communications Network communications between ICT International devices and other LoRa devices.
Iridium Burst® Communications Data to the ‘Cloud’ in remote areas and remote system management, via Satellite
Additional RS485 and
RS232 Ports modules
Communications,
Control, Sensing
Interface to weather sensors, PLCs, industrial controllers/computers, etc. (eg: via MODBUS)
SDI-12 module Sensing Interface to a wide range of environmental sensors
Ethernet module Communications Interface to wired computer networks and the ‘Cloud’
Analogue Input
module (24 bit)
Sensing Auto-ranging Interface to standard voltage type analogue sensors down to uV level.
Analogue Output
module (16 bit)
Control Interface to Programmable Logic Controllers and climate control systems
Audio module Media and Communications Analogue to I2S digital audio recording, signal processing, playback and sub-audio signalling control
LCD Interface module User Interface Interface to LCD touchscreen for display of data and user control of Hub applications

ICTTH-Service

 

Enclosure: IP67 rated, extruded aluminium – hard anodised body. Moulded UV, moisture and impact resistant endcaps. All external fasteners 316 stainless steel.
Service Hatch: Sealed service hatch provides access to switches, SD and SIM cards and non-waterproof connections.
Solar Panel: 10W or 20W depending on application. Charge rate automatically adjusts depending on available sunlight.
Data Storage: FAT32, CSV files saved on SDHC cards of up to 32GB capacity.
USB: USB 2.0 Full Speed (12Mbps).
Auxillary Serial Ports: 1x RS485 port, 1x I2C/SPI port.
Battery: 4.9Ah wide temperature range, lithium-ion.
Power Outputs: Dual switched, 4.2V battery voltage at up to 4 Amps OR up to 15V at up to 1 Amp.
External Connections: 5 flexible external IP67 connectors (N-type for wireless or multi-way gold plated for signalling and power). Can be used for communications, sensing, control and/or power output.

3system-diagram-hub-many

Solar Farm monitoring – Rapid monitoring of solar radiation and weather conditions, (using ICT weather station with 2.4GHz wireless link), and interface to building Energy Management System via Modbus over Ethernet for the purpose of analysing solar farm performance.

Weather alarm at a school – A Hub located at a school monitors an ICT weather station and a sap flow meter. When wind, rain or temperature exceed pre-set values the hub generates emails which are sent to the school safety officer who may choose to close playgrounds if there is a risk of an injury.

Broad acre farm telemetry network. – Deployment of a network of telemetry hubs, linked and synchronised via proprietary 2.4GHz wireless, with one of the hubs providing data to the Cloud via GSM modem. This system allows ICT instruments to be deployed anywhere across the farm with the data being uploaded to the ICT Cloud server. Instruments are automatically discovered by the hubs and data files stored in instruments are synchronised across hubs and the Cloud server providing multiple levels of redundancy. All communications between instruments and hubs is encrypted.

Remote orchard and plantation monitoring – In numerous applications, the telemetry hub has been used to communicate by 2.4GHz concentrate data from a range of ICT instruments and send the data to the ICT Cloud server.

Greenhouse-monitoring of growing media, plants and interface with climate control system. – A telemetry hub was deployed in several greenhouses to gather data from ICT instruments measuring growing media parameters, VPD, sap flow and water potential. It provided a direct input to a Priva climate control system by converting measured parameters to analogue output voltages. It also sent the data to the Cloud via GSM for remote monitoring and analysis.

Bee-hive monitoring. – A beehive is mounted on a weighing platform with the load cell interfaced directly to a precision analogue input mini-module inside the Hub resolving weight to within 1g with the beehive weighing as much as 80kg when full. The climate inside and outside the beehive is monitored via SDI-12 sensors connected to the Hub. The hub continues to log the data locally on SD card and send the data via 2.4GHz wireless across a valley to a second hub where the data is sent to the Cloud via GSM modem.

Cattle water supply management. – The telemetry Hub collects data from SDI-12 tank water level and weather sensors as well as ICT instruments, (via 2.4GHz wireless), compresses the data, (to minimise service costs), and sends it to the Cloud via an Iridium satellite modem module. This system is deployed in an area where there is no GSM service. The Hub also allows a PC, plugged into the Hub via USB port, to send and receive text messages thereby allowing the installer or service technician to communicate with us while testing or configuring the system in a situation where voice communication is not available or very costly. It is also possible to incorporate cattle tag RFID monitoring and control water availability where, for example, it is desired to persuade cattle to move to a new location.

Vending machine control. – The electronic assemblies in the Hub are installed in a purpose built vending machine. The Hub electronics manages a Paywave type contactless payment unit, measures temperature and controls a Peltier cooling system, controls a solenoid valve and pump which dispenses a chemical.

In all of the above cases, the functionality is provided within the IP67 rated, lithium-ion battery powered and solar charged, Hub enclosure. Note that the hub also monitors and logs wireless signal strength. This data is use to configure networks. It is also possible to use it to monitor proximity for applications such as aged care patient or animal tracking or door or gate access control.

HARDWARE SPECIFICATIONS

The Telemetry Hub is housed in a rugged IP67 enclosure designed for direct field deployment. Complete communications, control and instrumentation or media solutions are packaged in a single unit. Powered by an internal Lithium Ion battery, with a built in solar charge regulator. The Telemetry Hub has a multiprocessor architecture, where the main CPU is a 32 bit, three stage, pipelined ARM Cortex M3 processor with a nested vectored interrupt controller and a high performance DMA controller.

The Telemetry Hub is designed to conserve power when not active and manage activity based on battery charge level. The Telemetry Hub can be fitted with a smart phone sized graphical LCD touchscreen to provide custom user interfaces. It is designed to be easy to open up and service at a basic level, (eg: changing a battery, SD or SIM card or replacing a circuit board.) External connections are made to the Telemetry Hub via IP67 waterproof connectors.

ICT-TH-Overview

Software

ICT has an extensive software and firmware suite, developed, tested and refined over many years, that can be customised to suit any application.

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