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Abelon Releases IoT Reference Platform with Bluetooth 5

Abelon Systems is pleased to announce the release of their new Internet of Things Reference Platform which includes support for Bluetooth 5, the new low power wireless technology standard with increased range and data throughput.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is now a well-established concept although Abelon have been working in the sphere for many years and are one of the leading exponents in the design of reliable, low power monitoring and data acquisition products.
The new Abelon platform uses a flexible modular architecture and has two main variants, one for tracking mobile assets and the other for data acquisition or monitoring of static assets, both of which are capable of using a variety of sensor types.

The new platform has support for a wide variety of different type of communication technologies, including the new Bluetooth 5 standard which will be available in the first half of 2017.

Local radio is available using Bluetooth Low Energy, ZigBee or 6LowPAN, and for greater range there is the option of low power narrowband WAN such as SIGFOX or LoRaWAN. GSM or Wi-Fi support is also available, and the platform is able to support proprietary ISM band communications on 868MHz or 433MHz using commercial off-the-shelf modules.

IoT Ref Base small

The platform is capable of supporting a variety of low power sensor types. On board is a 9-D Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) comprising an accelerometer, gyrometer and magnetometer, but there are interfaces for other sensor types such as temperature, humidity, or other custom sensor types.

The platform has a large flash data storage capacity so it is able to support long term data acquisition and recording requirements.

Typical applications for the mobile asset tracking variant might be bicycle, motorcycle or vehicle tracking, in fact anything that moves that you might want to be able to track or trace.

Example applications for the non-GPS version would be typical Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications, including industrial automation and process control systems, or smart meters using pulse or UART sensors.

 

Product Summary
CPU TI CC26XX
Storage capacity 64MB, optionally upgradable to 256MB
Short range communications options Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth 5 Ready*, ZigBee, 6LowPAN
WAN communications SIGFOX, LoraWAN, GSM, Wi-Fi
Sensor support Onboard accelerometer, gyrometer and magnetometer. Other sensor types can be supported using the I2C or UART expansion ports. 
GPS support (optional) Multi-GNSS engine with GPS, GLONASS and QZSS
Expansion options I2C, UART

* Hardware is Bluetooth 5 ready, and full Bluetooth 5 support will be available on release of the Bluetooth 5 firmware stack from Texas Instruments which is due in the first half of 2017.

Although this new platform can be used directly in customer applications, it is also intended to allow rapid prototyping and development of new designs, allowing customers to realise new products in a much reduced time frame.

Creating a custom board with sensors can be a complex process as it is usually necessary to build custom proof of concept hardware and firmware, and then progress to building prototypes before being able to test in the field. This platform eliminates the extra time it typically takes to develop a prototype by bringing all the hardware building blocks together on one PCB, as well as having readily-accessible hardware functionality to interface with a wide variety of sensor types, thus considerably reducing the time to market.

To complement the Reference Platform device, Abelon have also created framework applications for mobile, MS Windows and cloud applications. Again this allows rapid evaluation and customisation of new products and platforms without the repetitive development cycle to implement from scratch.

Our solutions are all based on a control or monitoring device coupled with reliable data transfer and analysis at the head end. We can provide continuous remote data on the state of your asset(s) and send out an alarm when safe limits are exceeded. This allows the introduction of low-cost preventive actions instead of having an expensive repair once large-scale faults or damage has occurred. We can provide asset data via a web interface or by a web services API for easy integration into existing SCADA or other monitoring systems. 

For more information, or to discuss how we can help you with your new product, please contact us today.

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