Designed and engineered for a variety of applications, the Q4000 is a flexible, industrial-grade M2M communication system. It combines dual-mode functionality over multiple satellite and GSM terrestrial networks with GPS in a compact, fully programmable solution.Field Intelligence, based in San Diego, develops custom solutions for a broad base of clients that integrate satellite and terrestrial wireless applications for remote tracking, monitoring and control of assets in agricultural, environmental and industrial markets.“We incorporate the Q4000 in our end-to-end remote telemetry solutions, along with a hardware I/O card that provides sensor interfaces and a 12V battery with charging circuitry in a NEMA 4X enclosure,” said Art Gomez, president of Field Intelligence. “With this package, we can quickly create software applications to meet our customers’ specific requirements, giving us a competitive edge in terms of speed to market.”The Q4000 permits Field Intelligence to offer either satellite or cellular data links, or both, depending on the availability of terrestrial connectivity in the location to be served. “Either way, it’s totally seamless to our customers,” said Gomez. “Data is transmitted from the remote device to our server, where it is placed in a secure database and routed via the Internet to the customer. Our objective is to make M2M easy for our clients.”The remote telemetry unit can be configured to meet the customers’ requirements for data delivery, sleep periods, sensor configurations, read intervals, alarm levels and battery voltage set points. The unit is fully duplex for remote management and has sufficient memory to log over one year’s worth of continual measurements. All application and system configuration commands can be modified over the air.Gomez cited a typical customer, IRZ Consulting, which provides irrigation delivery systems for farms. “IRZ uses our solution to record and transmit data from soil moisture probes, rain gauges and weather sensors, giving the growers real-time visibility into moisture conditions and avoiding wasteful unnecessary watering, without having to send a worker out into the field to take measurements.”IRZ says its irrigation-scheduling-soil-moisture-monitoring clients consistently average 10-15 percent per year savings in water usage and energy costs while achieving higher yields.
Gomez notes that the built-in GPS tracker in the Q4000 device makes it easy for the IRZ sensor packages to be retrieved at the end of the growing season. “The devices transmit their position coordinates with each report, so they can be located quickly, even in very large open fields.”
“Developing a partnership with QUAKE has been critical to our success,” said Gomez. “In our business model, speed to the market is critical to exceeding customer expectations. The Q4000’s flexibility enables us to develop and deliver custom solutions in days. In our markets, that is a game changer.”