Remote Operations Work Flow

Application Background

This application note describes a remote work flow system which is used in the field for remote based maintenance trucks to enable centrally based work flow systems to be used by remotely located personnel. The remote locations are anywhere within a region and the central location is in a head or branch office. Trucks in the field would be equipped with Inmarsat BGAN Satellite communication systems with roof mounted omni directional satellite antennae to provide internet connectivity, voice connectivity, and Wi-Fi connectivity. In some regions cell phone coverage may be available, and this provides similar functionally.

The trucks in the field would be equipped with rugged tablet computers, for example the ALGIS rugged laptop computer which would be accessing several corporate applications on a central office or central control centre. Trucks in the field would be equipped with a Neon GPS receiver / Neon remote asset / vehicle tracking system so the location of each truck could be known and displayed at the central location or control centre to at all times to ensure a high level of occupational health and safety for field staff. The trucks may also have a small printer for printing various documents as and when required.

Application Detail

The GPS coordinates of each truck would be checked every period, typically each 5 minutes and their location displayed on Google Maps or other LIS systems such as ESRI at the central control room. These systems could geo reference the truck in the field and bring up alarms if the location was outside safe limits.
A security camera inside the vehicle and / or outside the vehicle would take a low resolution image typically each 5 minutes and that image would be displayed next to the truck icon on Google Maps or other LIS systems such as ESRI at the central control room.
Other vital functions, perhaps temperature, water availability, truck battery volts, fuel level and other parameters could also be monitored and displayed and alarmed if out of limits. A field staff/driver distress button could also be installed in the truck to alert the central location of any dangerous condition. The rugged tablet computer in the field could access well, pipeline and other infrastructure information documents which are available on document systems within the company’s document control system through an appropriate Adobe / PDF interface, providing up to the minute accurate information on all remote infrastructure.

This would eliminate the need to carry updated reference manuals and would ensure any updated manual would be immediately available for field staff use, and they would be accessing only the latest manuals / instructions. The rugged tablet computer in the field would also access a work flow / scheduling system for jobs to be completed in the field, and associated Health and Safety plans. The staff in the field could access the work flow system indicating job progress and completion through the rugged tablet computer in the field. The staff in the field could also take high resolution images and some video to indicate the operational status of various infrastructure in the field. The main cost for the truck would be an omni directional antenna based Inmarsat BGAN Satellite receiver. Some other truck infrastructure would need to be considered, printers, cameras and the like as well as a rugged tablet computer, such as an ALGIS.
The applications are relatively small interfaces between other corporate applications.

The satellite bandwidth would utilize a special SCAPS tariff package with Inmarsat to allow for, say 1 GB per month, across 100 trucks, where some trucks would use less and some trucks would use more. A cell phone service would also use an aggregated plan for airtime. The router / firewall settings in the truck and at the central location would be set up to only access the allowed applications, to ensure there is no use of the system for general applications, especially social networks. General internet connectivity would normally be disallowed through router settings and through use of a secure VPN / APN network supplied by the satellite operator.

Typical Configuration

Options for Application Specific Instruments / InputsUnidata Part NumberDescription
Algis TabletCustom PartRugged Laptop Computer
Ethernet Camera2502B / C / FVarious IP Cameras
GPS Receiver with 3G / 4G NRL3004B-MC00GPS Receiver with Neon Remote Logger

Options for Neon Telemetry - NRL / NRT / RTU / Field UnitsUnidata Part NumberDescription
Neon Remote Logger 16 Channels3016AOptions Available: 3G/4G Cellular, Ethernet, Globalstar, Inmarsat, Iridium SBD and LoRa
Neon Remote Logger 8 Channels3008AOptions Available: 3G/4G Cellular, Ethernet, Globalstar, Inmarsat, Iridium SBD and LoRa
Neon Remote Logger 4 Channels3004AOptions Available: 3G/4G Cellular
Neon Remote Logger 4 Channels M Series3004A-MOptions Available: 3G/4G Cellular, Ethernet, Microsatellite, Iridium SBD and LoRa
Cellular RTU 3G/4G2013F-AB03 / 2013F-AB04Neon Metering Module 3G/4G with Antenna and Li Battery
Cellular RTU 3G/4G - Industrial2016F-AB03 / 2016F-AB04Neon Remote Terminal 3G/4G with Antenna and Li Battery
Low Earth Orbit Satellite Globalstar2015F-AB0NRT Satellite Globalstar Modem with Antenna and three Li Batteries
Ethernet2017F-0B0-1 or 3NRT Ethernet with single or triple Ethernet Ports with three Li Batteries
Equatorial Orbit Satellite - Inmarsat2018F-AB0-1 or 3NRT Ethernet with single or triple Ethernet Ports with three Li Batteries
LCD Display2500ENRT LCD Display
NRT Field Termination Strip2103F2015F,2016F,2017F, and 2018F NRT FTS
NRT Firmware Option2303A-8M8M Extended Memory Option
NRT Firmware Option2303A-8M-CAM8M Extended Memory & Serial Camera Option
NRT Firmware Option2303A-CAMSerial Camera Option

Options for Neon Application Software - Customer ServerUnidata Part NumberDescription
Neon Application Software2302ANeon Server Software Licence Incl 5 NAL
Neon Application Software2302A-10Additional 10 NRT Access Licences
Neon Application Software2302A-20Additional 20 NRT Access Licences
Neon Application Software2302A-50Additional 50 NRT Access Licences

Options for Neon Application Software - Unidata ServerUnidata Part NumberDescription
Neon Application Software2301ANeon Data Initial Subscription Setup Fee
Neon Hosting Service2301A-01Neon Data Service Fee for 1-50 NRTs
Neon Hosting Service2301A-02Neon Data Service Fee for 51-100 NRTs
Neon Hosting Service2301A-10Neon Data Service Fee Metering

Options for Conventional Dataloggers / Field UnitsUnidata Part NumberDescription
Neon Remote Logger 16 Analog Channels / Touch Screen Display3016A-00016 Ch NRL (Superseded Prologger 7001D)
Neon Remote Logger 8 Analog Channels / Touch Screen Display3008A-0008 Ch NRL (Superseded Stalogger 6004D)
Neon Remote Logger 4 Analog Channels / Touch Screen Display3004A-0004 Ch NRL (Superseded Micrologger 8010C)
Starlog V4 Management Software6308A-AUEStarlog V4 Full Licence Key