Noise and meteorology monitoring solutions call upon resilient M2M connectivity. In this field, UK-based Acoustic1 has developed an enviable reputation to deliver rapidly-deployed solutions to many of the country’s major construction projects.
The company has evolved a growing range of solutions for temporary structures, where the need to gauge and alert threatening weather conditions are both vital to the safety of spectators/users as well as the fabric of the structure itself.
Utilising the hardware of French-owned ACOEM Group, Acoustic1 has seen its sound and wind monitoring deployments on landmark construction projects such as the Forth Bridge Crossing, where noise and wind data is recorded on a per second basis, analysed in real-time and provided as alerts if thresholds are surpassed. Data is accessible via an easy-to-use web-based platform which enables users to review and process data, as well as individually connect with any device to monitor activity as a live feed.
Acoustic1 will seldom have the luxury of hardwiring their strategically placed devices, often many metres up in the air and within remote locations. The use of SIM-based connectivity has consequently become mission-critical to deliver data-heavy, always-on communications at an acceptable cost. “In just a short number of years, we’ve seen the progression of bulky externally-mounted modems, to in-built SIM-enabled modules incorporated within the ACOEM device. Whether battery or mains-powered, the entire hardware has become easier to handle, assemble and provision,” comments Steve Thomas, Acoustic1’s founder and Managing Director. “And it is this portability, combined with the larger bandwidths now achievable, which are now enabling us to survey, scope and deploy entire solutions in a matter of hours.”
In addition to cellular connectivity, vital to the success of acoustic and meteorology monitoring is the ability to assign a fixed IP to each device. And it is here that a unique partnership has developed with Wireless Logic, Europe’s leading specialist managed services provider of M2M connectivity. A close relationship with the Wireless Logic team has seen Acoustic1 take advantage of every development rolled out by the mobile networks, with added value layers of service and platforms. “We have worked with the WL team for over 8 years,” continues Steve Thomas. “As a network-agnostic M2M provider, we’ve utilised their entire suite of UK networks, all accessible and controlled via their SIM provisioning platform, SIMPro. With some deployments more data heavy than others, we can aggregate the usage so that costs remain manageable across the entire estate.”
Wireless Logic’s ability to deliver multiple network solutions through one window gives Acoustic1 high degrees of flexibility when planning new projects. Justin Godfrey-Cass, Account Manager for Wireless Logic explains: “Whilst it’s not about the quantity of SIMs in the field for Acoustic1, it is all about data-rich connectivity that must be resilient. We will site-survey to ensure the optimum signal for the location and ensure the monthly data package will satisfy intended usage. They now use all of the UK’s major networks, with negotiated data tariffs which account for the intense levels of data traffic related to the nature of Acoustic1’s work.”
From the Forth Bridge Crossing to Crossrail and a number of other high-profile construction projects, Acoustic1’s most notable deployment culminated in being part of the UK’s most memorable summer in 2012. With monitoring equipment in no less than 15 different Olympic venues, the ACOEM DUO monitoring device, provided by Acoustic1 and connected through Wireless Logic, saw more sporting action than any spectator.
Mounted on scaffold-based temporary structures, live data monitored sound, wind direction/speed and rainfall, all retrieved to give objective data to the organisers responsible for spectator management. Each device triggered text-alerts if wind levels peaked at any of three levels – thus enabling safe evacuation if required, or notification that crowds may start to exit given adverse weather conditions. Full compliance was met on every deployment. As it happens, the strongest gust was saved for Eton Dorney, which thankfully gave a tailwind to one of the GB canoe team… no evacuations necessary.
“We are looking forward to developing solutions that can give more in-depth analysis alongside greater accessibility,” concludes Acoustic1’s Steve Thomas. “We are preparing the way for a number of trials with Wireless Logic and will be forging ahead.” Wireless Logic’s Justin Godfrey-Cass agrees: “Live streaming of audio for example can run into multiple MB usage. We will field test a number of networks and develop new solutions which Acoustic1 can take to the market with confidence.”
We are really excited about the market and how the technology is developing. Communication is key and it’s good to know that in Wireless Logic, we can ensure our service offerings come with the latest M2M connectivity solutions backed by first-class Service Level Agreements. We are now looking at linking in to their European network partnerships and have ambitious plans to eventually deliver global monitoring solutions.