Category Archives: Uncategorized

The central role of telemetry in many fields of human endeavour

Since the emergence of telemetering over wire in the 19th century, followed by the development of progressively meaningful wireless telemetry systems over the next century or so, telemetry has not merely existed to assist the running of plant and equipment. Nor has it solely had value in achieving financial efficiency. What Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) would instead like to emphasise in this article is the role that telemetry has had in shaping the present world in which all of its clients and non-clients live, work and play.

It is telemetry solutions, for example, that have made it possible for everyday people to be better informed about the coming weather in their localities, with weather balloons having used the technology to transmit meteorological data since 1920. Telemetry has also greatly modernised agriculture, given the need for weather and soil data to be delivered in a timely manner if healthy crops and good yields are to be consistently achieved. In the latter case, wireless weather stations transmit vital parameters, such as air temperature, precipitation, wind speed and soil moisture, to the achievement of such ends as precision irrigation and disease prevention.

Remote data acquisition has also been integral to fishery and wildlife research and management, with threatened species being monitored at the individual level. Instrumentation tags are fitted to animals under study so that the likes of temperature, diving depth and duration can be measured. Through telemetry tags, researchers can learn more about an animal’s environment, behaviour and functions. Archival tags can then be used to store this information, or the information can be transmitted to a satellite or handheld receiving device.

Testing environments where there is a need for close observation, but the presence of humans in close proximity would be dangerous, such as volcanoes, radioactive sites or munitions-storage facilities, also see the use of remote monitoring systems. They can be invaluable in making measurements in places that are generally inaccessible to humans, such as deep in the ocean or in space. Indeed, space science has long been another key frontier for telemetry, being used for data transmission by manned or unmanned spacecraft and covering distances exceeding 10 billion kilometres.

Data is frequently collected from spacecraft and satellites by space agencies like the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, via telemetry and/or telecommand systems. There are so many more examples of the areas in which solutions like telemetry software have played an integral role in furthering human achievement and broader society, from rocketry, military intelligence and medicine to communications, resource distribution and motor racing.

With its own highly concentrated areas of expertise in the water, chemical, printing and oil and gas industries, Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) takes pride in its continuing contributions to making telemetry more powerful, flexible and suitable to the broadest range of professional and industry requirements.

 

The sometimes unexpected role of telemetry in sport

Many prospective and current clients alike of Oriel Systems’ (http://www.orielsystems.com) remote inventory monitoring solutions are likely to be following the latest goings-on at the 2013 Tour de France – but not all of them may be aware of the reports earlier in June of work being done on a telemetry system to make real-time data accessible to TV audiences. The technology wasn’t ready in time for the 100th Tour de France, but it is thought that live figures and statistics could be streamed for the first time at Paris-Tours in mid-October, according to a BikeRadar report.

The idea is to use such telemetry systems for the collection of real-time data on the speed and position of riders in the peloton, enabling it to be fed directly to TV stations for the benefit of audiences. If the trials are a success, viewers could soon be perusing statistics on the hardest working riders and which team members have been on the front of the peloton for longest. Speculation began when operatives were seen cable-tying cadence sensor-size units to the undercarriage of team saddles at the stage start of the Criterium du Dauphine in Grésy-sur-Aix.

Although the operatives were not forthcoming about the exact nature of their activities, it was later confirmed that work was being done alongside Tour de France organisers, ASO on the first stage trials of the GPS-based technology. Audiences and commentators alike will be hoping for the successful implementation of such a data acquisition system, given that it could result in accessible information not only on the amount of time spent on the front by riders, but also hard working domestiques doing bottle runs returning to team cars and how cohesive certain teams are when riding in a group in the peloton. Team managers may also appreciate data on the work rate and positioning of their riders.

This is not the first time the broadcasting of in-race data to audiences has been trialled. It used to be possible for commentators to access selected participants’ heart rate data during races, while the 2005 Tour de France saw the fitting of GPS units to the bikes of selected riders. But none of these previous measures have stuck, with sports fans perhaps more aware of the application of remote monitoring systems in Formula One. Throughout motorsport, telemetry remains invaluable for race engineers interested in tuning a car for optimum performance, making the most of data collected during a test or race. Two-way telemetry, for instance, allows for calibrations on a car to be updated in real time, even when the car is out on the track. Telemetry has also been used in yacht racing.

Of course, as exotic as such technologies can seem, clients of Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) customarily require a telemetry installation for a rather different kind of competitiveness. More specifically, they require industry competitiveness as achieved through a cost-effective, reliable and scalable system tailored to their exact needs, whether they are in the oil and gas, printing, water or chemical industries.

 

A short history of telemetry

Telemetry can be described as a highly automated communications process that involves the collection of measurements and other data at remote or inaccessible points, prior to transmission to receiving equipment for monitoring and control purposes. Regular visitors to the Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) website will be aware of the many potential applications of telemetry in the 21st century, including those both covered and not covered by the company.

Telemetry itself, can trace its own past back to the 19th century. This is the period in which telemetering information over wire has its origins, with 1845 being the year in which one of the first data-transmission circuits, between the Russian Tsar’s Winter Palace and army headquarters, was developed. In 1874, French engineers had a system of weather and snow-depth sensors built on Mont Blanc for the transmission of real-time information to Paris.

Then, in 1901, the American inventor C. Michalke patented a circuit – known as the selsyn – that allowed the sending over a distance of synchronised rotation information. The developments that gradually culminated in today’s data acquisition systems came thick and fast after that, with the year 1906 seeing the construction of a set of seismic stations with telemetering to the Pulkovo Observatory in Russia. A system of telemetry was then developed by Commonwealth Edison in 1912, for the monitoring of its power grid’s electrical loads. By 1914, the Panama Canal was completed, and used extensive telemetry systems for the monitoring of locks and water levels.

The start of the 1930s saw the concurrent development of the radiosonde by the Russian Pavel Molchanov and Robert Bureau in France, with wireless telemetry making early appearances in it. In Molchanov’s system, the modulation of temperature and pressure measurements was possible with their conversion to wireless Morse code. Meanwhile, another system, “Messina”, consisting of primitive multiplexed radio signals, was used by the German V-2 rocket for the reporting of four rocket parameters, although its unreliability was such that Wernher von Braun once claimed that watching the rocket through binoculars was a better idea.

There can be no doubt, however, that remote monitoring systems have advanced significantly in functionality, sophistication and reliability since then. Certainly, the range of applications for telemetry has significantly expanded, with space science, agriculture, motor racing, flight testing, military intelligence, medicine and resource distribution being just some of the fields that have benefitted from it. Since 1920, telemetry has also been used by weather balloons for the transmission of meteorological data. Remote monitoring solutions have also become more powerful and flexible in recent decades across various fields, helped by the large installed worldwide user bases of the leading telemetry installation providers.

The current technical team at Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) have certainly learned a great deal from the telemetry solutions of the past, which places it in the best position to supply the most suitable systems for the widest range of present requirements.

 

The truly all-encompassing nature of telemetry

Telemetry, which can be defined as a highly automated communications process by which measurements are made and other data collected at points either remote or inaccessible, before being transmitted to receiving equipment so that it can be monitored, is not a process with which many people have an everyday familiarity. Nonetheless, it is a vital process in many industries, including many beyond the obvious bounds of Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com).

An appreciation of the wider context of telemetry software and hardware and the situations and industries in which it is used helps individuals and organisations to grasp just how versatile the process can be – as well as just how much work goes into the development and refinement of a solution that is reliable, flexible, high-performing and cost-effective. Although Oriel Systems is a high technology industrial services provider with a strong track record in the water, chemical, oil and gas and printing industries, there are many more sectors in which telemetry has an instrumental role.

These include meteorology, with telemetry having been used for the transmission of meteorological data by weather balloons since 1920. It also has a role in space science, as manned or unmanned spacecraft use it to transmit their own data, over distances of more than 10 billion kilometres. Telemetry systems have also long been appreciated in agriculture, given the need for weather and soil data to be delivered in a timely fashion for most activities relating to healthy crops and good yields. This gives wireless weather stations a vital part to play in precision irrigation and the prevention of disease.

There is also a strong association between remote monitoring systems and the sporting world, and indeed, many people may be predominantly aware of it on account of its link with motor racing. In modern motor racing, telemetry is a fact of life, with race engineers using data that has been collected during a test or race to properly tune the car so that it delivers the best possible performance. So advanced have telemetry systems come in series like Formula One, that it is possible to calculate the potential lap time of the car and use it as a benchmark for the driver. During a race, such measurements as accelerations (G forces) in three axes, wheel speed, temperature readings and suspension displacement can all be made.

From defence, space and resource exploration, energy monitoring and military intelligence to resource distribution, medicine and even retail, there are so many fields in which a telemetry installation can have a major influence. Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) takes pride in its own laser-like focus on its specialist areas of expertise, and its technical team welcomes contact for those with small or large telemetry systems and complicated or relatively simple requirements. It will ensure that all elements are incorporated into a system that delivers the best results in the context of the client firm’s resourcing and/or staffing needs and wider objectives.

The most specialised needs catered for, by one supplier

For the many organisations that require some kind of telemetry installation, it may seem clear that highly specialised expertise is required from a company that is dedicated to providing such solutions in their particular industry. After all, they might reason that there can’t possibly be high technology industrial services providers that are equally adept at catering for all of the telemetry needs that firms across so many industries may have – until, that is, they discover Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com).

 

Indeed, Oriel Systems caters for the various industries that could possibly benefit from its expertise in such areas as wireless tank monitoring, from the water and chemical industries to and the oil and gas and printing industries. It is true, too, that the requirements of such firms can drastically vary. A client in the water industry, for instance, may be especially attracted to the idea of an outstation that supports different pumping profiles, depending on their energy tariffs, while printing industry clients need to carefully keep track of levels of printing ink on sites that face great demand from newspapers.

 

Similarly, those in the chemical industry can have such highly specialised needs as the installation of galvanic isolation. Meanwhile, loading/uploading operations in the oil and gas industries have traditionally required two operatives, leading many organisations in these fields to consider a Driver Controlled Delivery (DCD) system that integrates the systems for on-site control, level monitoring and safety with on-site CCTV, so that only one man is required. Matters get even more complicated when it is considered that many organisations have existing telemetry equipment that they have already invested significantly in.

 

What is required by many such firms, then, is a provider of high technology industrial services that can be trusted to cater for these most exacting of needs. They require a company that can provide them with a telemetry or tank monitoring system that has a strong track record with regard to performance and reliability, in the form of a large installed user base worldwide. However, they also need the system to be scalable, cost-effective and quick and easy to install, in the face of ever-heightening national and even global competition. Also welcome is if this company’s products can be connected to existing equipment.

 

Often, it may be assumed that the larger firms with the major track records are those that are less able to respond to the most precise needs pertaining to certain industries – but with more than 25 years of business behind it, Oriel Systems can offer the best of all worlds. It has a highly responsive and professional technical team that is seasoned at working on small and large projects alike, across the various industries. It has a manufacturing, research and development facility in south west England, maintains strategic alliances internationally and even possesses enviable telemetry software expertise.

 

By calling 01249 705070, clients across the aforementioned sectors can discover just how well-placed the telemetry engineers of Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) are to respond to their most obscure demands.

 

The instrumental role played by the Internet in telemetry solutions

As the highly successful, internationally oriented provider of high technology industrial services that it is, Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) knows what is required to assemble a truly effective telemetry system, one that delivers cost-efficiency and reliability as well as power. It knows how to create systems that are scalable, as well as that are quick and easy to install and deliver the required results – and the Internet has no small role in ensuring this.

 

Amongst the products that the company is most proud of, for example, are its outstations, with its intelligent video units using the Internet to simultaneously transmit as many as eight live feeds, optionally with audio, from a client’s remote site over long distances. Video can be transmitted by the video streaming unit at various resolutions, from systems that have low network bandwidth to high bandwidth applications that are capable of transmitting video of television quality. Mere 56k connections are required for typical applications, although with the increasing popularity of broadband connections, many remote tank monitoring clients now opt for 256k.

 

Similarly, the Intelligent Telemetry Outstation (ITO) can be connected back to the client’s master station with any of a number of communication transmission options, such as the Internet, meaning that a live feed of what is taking place at the site can be recorded, with any required amount of previously recorded values being sent back. Another key part of any telemetry system is the right software, with Oriel Systems offering both Awax Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and Awax SCADA software.

 

One option for such software that is proudly offered by Oriel Systems is a hosting service. At a time when many of the organisations that require solutions like wireless tank monitoring are likely to want to outsource certain responsibilities to the maximum extent possible, so that they can focus on their core business, this hosting service gives the engineers of Oriel Systems responsibility for ensuring the continued correct functioning of the system. It means that if any problems do arise with the Awax server, they can be immediately tended to by the right people.

 

The hosting service involves contact being made with each of the client’s sites, with data being uploaded to a secure Internet server. At any time, and from any computer with access to the web, clients can log in to the site and view their data, in addition to graphing data history and trends and downloading the data onto a spreadsheet, if they so wish. Alternatively, the client may choose to have all of their required data regularly updated and forwarded to a smartphone, in keeping with wider mobility trends in the workplace.

 

Whether the client seeks a telemetry installation for the purposes of new housing development and construction, land drainage, oil and gas, printing or chemicals – to name just a few possibilities – they are sure to find that the Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) technical team can provide them with a perfectly tailored system that also makes the most of the Internet.

 

Some of the lesser-known benefits of Oriel Systems’ services

Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) has long prided itself on the provision of telemetry systems that are cost-effective, flexible and reliable – and indeed, these are fundamental advantages that are readily understood by all of the firm’s clients, which have included the likes of Unilever, BP and Nordson. What is perhaps less widely appreciated, however, is the company’s ability to cater for even the most specialised of requirements with the most specialised of expertise and resources.

 

After all, it is not every telemetry specialist that has been in business for more than a quarter-century, with all of the knowhow in high technology industrial services that such a period of time has allowed it to accumulate. Nor does every competitor of Oriel Systems provide a hosting service for the AWAX Telemetry or Vendor Managed Inventory systems of its clients.  Such a service relieves clients of the responsibility for checking the continual functioning of the system, with Oriel Systems engineers instead being immediately informed of any problems that arise.

 

It can also be easily forgotten that Oriel Systems provides a wide range of outstation communication options, including GSM, GPRS, 3G, PSTN or even standard telephone provider landline or broadband. There are also many signal inputs to which the company’s modular Intelligent Telemetry Outstations can be connected, including Digital Inputs (volts free contracts) or Analogue Inputs (4-20mA, 0-5V, 0-10V) from Radar, Ultrasonic level sensors, Hydrostatic pressure transducers and Guided Microwave sensing equipment.

 

It is also possible to bring Counter Frequency Inputs into the system, for example from pumps, so that the number of strokes the pump has cycled can be measured to produce an accurate product movement or consumption figure, where the amount of liquid that is moved by the pump per cycle is known. Control Outputs can be an invaluable part of tank monitoring, allowing for control functions like the opening or closing of valves, the starting and stopping of pumps and the opening and closing of penstocks to be remotely performed.

 

There are also various specific benefits that an Oriel Systems telemetry installation can bring in the context of the specific industries in which clients work, with those in the water industry, for example, likely to appreciate the support that the outstation provides for different pumping profiles on the basis of their energy tariffs. This allows for reductions on energy usage expenditure and the remote changing of pump control settings, the latter removing the need for costly site visits. Meanwhile, clients in the oil and gas industries may be thankful for the local, on-site storage of all video feeds for the last three days, meaning that should an “event” occur, it can be downloaded and saved onto a computer for future review and analysis of procedures to minimise the risk of a repeat.

 

Oriel Systems’ (http://www.orielsystems.com) highly professional technical staff members are continually ready to speak to prospective clients about the nature of their project and accompanying telemetry software and hardware requirements.

 

How Oriel Systems applies its expertise across many different industries

An emphasis on cost-effectiveness, reliability and scalability has helped to make Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) the go-to source of telemetry systems assistance and expertise over many years. Such a specialised field as telemetry is one in which the chosen technology services provider needs to be trustworthy, and the backing that Oriel Systems has won from such past and present clients as Unilever, Virgin, BP and Nestle signals the esteem in which it is widely held.

 

Much of Oriel Systems’ present reputation rests on its proven ability to provide telemetry solutions that are powerful, flexible and useful for a wide range of industries. Whatever the size and nature of the project, many of those firms that require solutions like wireless tank monitoring know that Oriel Systems has a ‘hands on’ technical team that is able to listen to and cater for any of a broad range of requirements. The systems are quick, easy and inexpensive to install, and customer support can be provided over the phone or in the form of the remote control of systems.

 

It is especially insightful, however, to consider how specific industries have benefitted from Oriel Systems’ expertise in remote monitoring systems in very specific ways. Organisations in the water industry, for example, appreciate the provision of an intelligent outstation that provides for a remote site’s total autonomy, with the Control Algorithm that is agreed upon between the customer and Oriel Systems’ engineers the basis on which all functions can be automatically performed. There is also support from the outstation for different pumping profiles, depending on the energy tariffs of the customer, which means that savings on energy usage can be made.

 

Oriel Systems also serves the chemical industry, offering a range of sensors from the Ultrasonic or Radar to a Guided Microwave or pressure transducer. The company specialises in the supply, installation and commissioning of level sensing equipment from the best-regarded manufacturers, and if required, can also install galvanic isolation. Many organisations from the oil and gas industries also approach Oriel Systems with the goal of halving the number of operatives that are required for loading and unloading operations, from two to one – as is possible when the on-site control, level monitoring and safety systems are integrated with on-site CCTV, courtesy of Oriel Systems’ Driver Controlled Delivery (DCD) system.

 

Finally, assistance has also long been provided by Oriel Systems to the printing industry, which can be vital given how expensive a commodity ink is. A Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) solution, consisting of an intelligent telemetry outstation at the customer sites, ensures that the levels in several tanks can be constantly monitored. This means that in the event of unexpected overnight usage resulting in the tank level dropping below a pre-defined limit, the system can override everything and issue an alert to the supplier. This is just one more of the many ways in which solutions from Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) have long catered to common and uncommon requirements across relevant industries.

 

How Oriel Systems improves each aspect of a telemetry installation

In order for the readings of an instrument to be recorded and transmitted by radio, certain critical equipment is required as part of the complete telemetry installation. With many public and private sector organisations in the likes of the chemical, water, oil and gas and printing industries not having the luxury to employ as many people as they once did amid constant searches for greater efficiencies, a company like Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) has a key role to play in providing truly cost-effective, reliable and scalable systems.

 

The complete set of equipment that makes up telemetry solutions includes the sensors that measure a value obtained at the remote site, as well as the telemetry outstation that collects information on a 24 hours a day basis from all of the sensors that are to be found on a particular remote site. Also necessary is some communications method by which the information that the outstation collects can be relayed back to the main office, as well as a software application that makes sense of the information that the main office PC receives from the various sites.

 

Keeping track of all of this equipment can be difficult, and some of it may need upgrading or otherwise replacing sooner than anticipated. Clients of telemetry systems often turn to Oriel Systems in the knowledge that the company makes possible connections to all manner of remote plant and equipment, including the telemetry equipment of other suppliers. This level of dedication to precise customer technical requirements is possible due to the firm’s combination of more than a quarter-century of continuous operation and a sophisticated manufacturing, research and development facility in south west England.

 

Such a high level of dedication is widely appreciated by clients including the likes of Unilever, Roche, Virgin, BP and ChickMaster, not least as it repeatedly removes the need for prior investment to be thrown out. Alternatively, the client may need to expand rapidly in response to unpredictably fluctuating requirements, and these can be similarly accommodated, as Oriel Systems’ solutions have been designed to be as scalable as possible, with there being no need for the client to pay for a system that it does not need. These remote tank monitoring systems can also be installed quickly and easily, minimising the necessary labour, manpower and start-up and operational costs.

 

From intelligent video units that are capable of transmitting as many as 8 live feeds – optionally with audio – simultaneously over long distances online, to AWAX software that is being continually developed to keep pace with recent technological trends like greater live video streaming and more online integration, Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) knows how to both upgrade existing systems and develop entirely new ones. Its technical team is constantly on hand to discuss all manner of specialised requirements for remote monitoring systems.

 

What should firms know about Oriel Systems’ telemetry software consultants?

Not many companies that would seem to specialise in telemetry and remote tank monitoring have their own in-house developers testing and delivering working software, let alone actually being directly available over the phone to prospective and current clients by day. And yet, that is precisely what Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) can offer, which goes some way to explaining why such major names as Virgin, BP and Unilever have trusted the company to provide scalable, dependable and truly effective systems.

 

Nor is the pedigree and experience level of the company’s telemetry software consultants exactly common, with the company having been developing software for Windows since that operating system’s early days. Such specialists know full well of the wide range of highly specialised technical requirements that clients can have across the likes of the chemical, printing, oil and gas and water industries. From its manufacturing, research and development facility in south west England, Oriel Systems has its software consultants working closely with its other professionals.

 

The result is the hard-earned reputation that Oriel Systems now enjoys as a successful and dynamic provider of high technology industrial services that has been in business for more than a quarter-century. Prospective and current telemetry clients can soon find out for themselves about the expertise, friendliness and flexibility of these software consultants, by contacting them directly – as can be done by phone or fax, as well as by email outside of normal hours. For both small and large projects, Oriel Systems’ software consultants can analyse individual needs before developing a solution around it and testing and delivering a working project.

 

The close and highly functional relationship between the clients of Oriel Systems and its software consultants does not cease at the delivery stage, as such professionals will also want to ensure maximum client satisfaction, and can also be called upon in the future to provide vital backup and support. As time is money for the many organisations that could possibly require telemetry solutions, any new software development takes place rapidly, with the benefit of the most recent techniques, programming languages and testing methods.

 

The expertise of Oriel Systems’ software consultants extends to the development of both simple user interfaces and more complicated functions for measurement and analysis that allow for collected data to be trended and graphed. Clients may have intelligent devices or remote plant/equipment of their own, and the experts at Oriel Systems can work around these elements if needed, developing software interfaces that can be seamlessly integrated with them.

 

These strengths only continue to build on an impeccable track record for the development of telemetry and data acquisition software that significantly supports a company’s operations, both now and for many years into the future. The Oriel Systems (http://www.orielsystems.com) technical team is available now to discuss any organisation’s telemetry needs.