Web Accessible Real-Time Geospatial Operations Via Satellite Communications

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This research investigates and tests two satellite communication links for application to real-time seismic survey operations. The research includes an investigation of satellite system physical characteristics, a cost model and the software and system integration required to integrate satellite communications with real-time geospatial operations. After intensive investigation of different satellite systems, Iridium and Orbcomm were chosen as candidates for experimental validation. An XML cost model was developed to estimate costs for various seismic survey operational scenarios involving Iridium and Orbcomm satellite systems. Both satellite systems were tested to determine their operational characteristics. Three different experiments transmitting packets of 108 bytes (simulating helicopter GPS information) were carried out at different frequencies, time of day and transceiver movement (static and dynamic). Satellite communication system cost is about 10 times less per unit of data transmitted for Orbcomm compared to Iridium. Orbcomm has a much higher latency and lower update rate than Iridium. Our experiments determined an average latency for Iridium of 1465 ms while Orbcomm’s average latency was 12 minutes 45 seconds given the same data transmission parameters. Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) was also explored in this research for its possible role in satellite link geospatial information systems. Our results show that SOAP has good potential for use in client – server web applications for satellite cost estimation as part of satellite-based field operations.