Optimizing Satellite Installations Through Wireless IoT-Enabled Signal Meters

Challenge:

An American manufacturer of satellite testing equipment for the telecommunications industry needed a way to streamline the collection and storage of critical test data used during home satellite installations and routine maintenance. After a holistic evaluation of their end-user’s installation processes, the OEM found that technicians were not only burdened by unorganized libraries of manuals and service records but the installers were also restricted to the line-of-sight with their meter while aiming satellite dishes to determine optimal signal strength. These inefficiencies prolonged crew deployments and signal outages, costing telecommunication companies valuable time and resources.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, the OEM decided to retrofit their existing signal meters with secure Wi-Fi connectivity, which would allow technicians remote access to meter readings and custom data files from a host client device. Could Lantronix provide a cost-effective networking solution that would allow file storage and remote access to meter data from a smartphone or tablet?

Key Requirements:

  • Compatibility with 802.11 b/g/n networks
  • Quick time-to-market
  • Ability to quickly create custom software for data access and retrieval via SDK

Solution: Lantronix® xPico® Wi-Fi Embedded Device Server

The OEM chose the Lantronix xPico Wi-Fi embedded device server to establish wireless connectivity between their signal meters and host client devices. Technicians and installers could now determine immediately optimal signal strength from meters located near the set-top boxes while adjusting dish direction while onsite at the point of installation. The xPico Wi-Fi module’s storage capacity made it possible to remotely access custom data including channel plans, field guides and firmware updates during site visits. With xPico Wi-Fi custom Web APIs and software access point (SoftAP), end users can author web pages for meter configuration including a web-based Human Machine Interface rather than an LCD display.

Results:

  • Cost-effective – Saved the OEM from expending valuable time and resources to build a robust Wi-Fi solution from scratch
  • Faster time-to-market – OEM was able to reduce product development time and go to market faster with an IoT solution
  • Compact form factor – Made it easy for the OEM to incorporate a mobile-ready, wireless solution into their product design

About the Lantronix xPico Wi-Fi

Reduce your development costs, shorten your time to market, and leverage mobile solutions with the xPico Wi-Fi, one of the world’s smallest and most flexible embedded Wi-Fi IoT modules. The xPico Wi-Fi provides low power, simultaneous Soft AP and client mode, full IP and WLAN stacks, and includes an industry best five year warranty.

Lantronix xPico Wi-Fi Key Benefits:

  • Easy to deploy and use: No need for software development or to write a single line of code.
  • Simultaneous Soft AP and Client mode: Allowing for easy points of access while maintaining a secure network without the need for special clients.
  • Mobile-ready: Enables direct access to device data via smartphones, tablets and connected PCs.
  • Robust: Device server application suite hardened by Lantronix over the last decade.
  • Secure: 256-bit AES Encryption.
  • Industrial-ready: Operating environment at extended temperatures: -40° to +85° C.
  • Standards-based: Conforms to latest WLAN and IP internetworking standards ensuring interoperability with a broad range of deployed equipment.
  • Customizable: Designed with customizable capabilities for rapid OEM adoption.
  • Power: Low-power profile optimized for battery-powered devices.
  • Peripheral Connectivity: Serial, SPI, USB (device), GPIOs.
  • Form Factor: Compact footprint available in both SMT (castellation) and B2B connector options.
  • Guaranteed: Five year limited warranty