Building a Radio Telemetry Network

By on August 16, 2010

A radio telemetry network offers an affordable solution for receiving real-time data from remote environmental monitoring sites. It also offers a number of advantages over other telemetry options.

When a project computer can be located within a few miles (line-of-sight) or few hundred feet (non-line-of-sight), license-free, spread-spectrum radio telemetry is an ideal solution. A radio telemetry data logger from NexSens Technology is able to communicate with a NexSens radio base station, which serves as a central hub for one or a network of remote data loggers and can connect directly to a base computer or relay data to a remote computer. A radio data logger can be equipped with an antenna that best suits application needs, based on the distance to the base station and terrain.

Unlike other telemetry options, a radio telemetry network does not require any usage or license fees, which is not the case with other solutions such as cellular or satellite networks.

Radio Telemetry Data Loggers

NexSens 4100-iSIC Radio Data LoggerThe NexSens 4100 radio telemetry data logger can connect to virtually any sensor via analog and digital interfaces.

All data loggers from NexSens offer superior data acquisition performance in extreme conditions and are specifically designed for remote environmental monitoring applications. NexSens data loggers simultaneously support eight analog inputs and four digital inputs for multi-sensor data logging capability. All electronics are housed in a rugged, NEMA 4X enclosure constructed of heavy-duty ­fiberglass. The built-in 8.5 amp-hour sealed lead acid battery provides 12-volt power to the system, and the battery can continuously charge using AC or solar power.

Polymer-coated circuit boards, sealed connectors, corrosion-resistant stainless steel hardware, and built-in lightning protection ensure reliable performance in even the harshest conditions. All sensor cables run through waterproof gland fittings to ensure protection from the elements.

NexSens SDL500R Radio Data LoggerAlternatively a NexSens SDL500 submersible data logger with a radio telemetry modem is available and offers even greater protection. The SDL500 can withstand extreme wave action, drops, and floods. It consists of the data logger and communications module housed in a fully-submersible, five-inch-diameter round enclosure. The unit offers five sensor ports for connection to industry-standard digital and analog sensors.

The SDL500 can be placed into a perforated PVC pipe mounted on a bridge, other structures in the water, or along a river bank. NexSens data buoys are also designed to accommodate the data logger as well as three NexSens five-watt solar power packs to provide continuous power, making for a completely self-sufficient floating environmental monitoring platform. (Learn more about this underwater data logger.)

For help deciding if a radio telemetry network is the right choice for your application, read more in Real-time radio telemetry is a cost-effective remote monitoring solution. Furthermore, a Fondriest Environmental application engineer can help you decide how to configure the most effective data logging and telemetry solution for project needs. Call 888.426.2151 or email to learn more.

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