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IoTEE Report Summary

Project ID: 738483

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IoTEE (Internet of Things Everywhere on Earth: a satellite based M2M solution)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2018-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Terrestrial IoT solutions (e.g. LTE or LPWAN) are cost-efficient on the device side (a low cost connectivity module can easily be integrated in any device) but is expensive on the network side (a large number of Base Transceiver Stations supporting antennas and backhaul connectivity is required). Therefore, terrestrial IoT will be primarily rolled out in the most densely populated areas, and this will limit IoT services adoption outside Smart Cities, particularly for those Industrial IoT applications (Industry 4.0) requiring large coverage areas or global seamless connectivity.
Space IoT solutions have the potential to bridge this coverage/adoption gap. However, although it is cost effective on the network side (as one satellite can cover large geographical areas), it remains expensive on the device side. Satellite communications are traditionally oriented around high-bandwidth voice and data connections which require high transmit power, so there are few chipsets and devices operating at low data rates with long battery autonomy (>6 yrs). Personal Navigation Devices (based on GPS or Glonass) use simple data formats and provide only Position Navigation and Timing (PNT) data. Existing space IoT solutions work best with relatively large and costly terminals with very limited power autonomy aggregating local IoT networks.
Space IoT has the potential to compete with terrestrial IoT in terms of cost, size and energy autonomy if it can develop an appropriate communications standard and truly autonomous small mobile sensors capable of communications via satellite. Based on market research (Northern Sky estimates a €2Bn market for 2.75M Space IoT enabled devices by 2022), the consortium has identified a large opportunity for a European space based solution for LPWA (Low Power Wide Area).
To address this opportunity, the space technology transfer venture S4M was formed in 2014 to develop a novel technology platform, network and architecture for Space IoT called TELDASAT . TELDASAT leverages existing and planned European space technology infrastructure (such as the German Space Operations Center at DLR) and expertise to create a new approach to space IoT benefiting from an exclusive access to space and a distinct “first to market” advantage. This project seeks to develop the IoTEE sensor device, supporting any type of data that can be gathered and transported via the S4M short data messaging system: temperature, pressure, vibration, open/closed, leak indication, broken alarm, km counting, position, speed, among others.
The project will enable a space-based solution to fill the IoT coverage/adoption gap, providing a unique opportunity for Europe to accelerate its IoT deployment, particularly in areas outside the “Smart City War” where most terrestrial IoT development is currently concentrated. The project will therefore enable accelerated IoT adoption across many key sectors – such as energy, transportation, security, agriculture, environment, and industrial automation – generating broad business and societal impacts. The project complements the Smart Cities approach with a “Smart Countryside”, addressing key EU societal challenges across sustainability, transportation, pollution reduction and climate change risk mitigation.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The IOTEE project has been kicked off with the ambition to develop the 1st ASIC in the world for LPWA communication over satellite (with EU support), using a unique network developed with ESA support. All the 6 WPs have started as planned and 2 amendments have been proposed and accepted during Y1.
• 16 deliverables were due for Y1 and 17 deliverables for Y2 (2 for Dec. 2018 and 9 for Jan. 2019). For Y1, all WPs have started in parallel. The D4.1 has been submitted in due time on Feb. 2017 and the D4.2 (website: in due time in April 17. The D1.1 (requirements specifications), the D2.1 (draft protocol), the D2.2 (system implementation plan) have been submitted in time as well in April. The D3.1 (trial plans) has been submitted in time, benefiting from active pilots’ involvement. A project quality handbook (D6.4) has been up-loaded. In July, the D1.4 (preliminary design) has been submitted as the D5.1 (draft commercialisation plan), progressing well with intensive marketing and pre-sales agreements.
• In WP1 and WP2, the intention is to improve the design of the chipset using a very innovative (space based) IoT connectivity (LPWA), protocol/ITU international frequency and apply it to the pilot use cases to move to TRL8. A strong focus here is on the SoC design as that also forms the basis for the module and the terminal prototypes production as well as certification and testing.
• The project has 4 critical milestones (Ms), to be passed in months 3, 6, 12 and 16 of the project. Each Ms tackles several tasks and deliverables relating to various WPs.
• As for the tasks, it has been asked to delay the provision of D1.5 (CDR) and D1.6 (PRD) by 4 and 5 months respectively.
• As for the resources, the WP1 and WP2 represent +42 % of the total effort spread over 16 months, the WP3 and WP5 represent +38% over 24 months, and WP4 and WP6 circa 20%.

The expected impacts are more promising than ever. In 2017, Industrial IoT have “boomed” with many deployments (Lora, Weightless, NB IoT) as roll outs (Sigfox intends to cover 60 countries). This LPWA activity is noticeable in Europe.
Space IoT is now a “blue ocean” market opportunity and it confirms SAT4M2M’s predictions (IOTEE proposal 2016). This trend is also confirmed by investors as by traditional space players.
LPWA market is forecasted (TAM) to reach 622 M by 2021 and 3 Bn of devices by 2025, with a market share for Space IoT (SAM) estimated to reach from 5 to 10% of TAM. In this segment, SAT4M2M intends to serve 1,9 M units (Serviceable Obtainable Market: SOM).
Huge benefits are foreseen and it requires continuous monitoring and mitigation plans to be able to serve clients in time.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The IoTEE receiver/emitter device is the key enabler of the TELDASAT Space IoT solution:
• low energy consumption and a miniaturised design, enabling high autonomy and easy integration
• backwards compatibility respective interoperability with existing and planned terrestrial and spaceborne systems, enabling integration into maximum variety of sensor systems as a standard telematics systems, leading to increased market impact, and decreased time to deployment and commercial risk
• novel Low-Power (Ultra) Wide Area Network protocol (LP(U)WAN), enabling extension of LPWAN protocol over satellite links using unique approaches for advanced security and network agility.

The anticipated IoTEE project results do not address one single aspect of societal challenges – rather they enable a space-based approach essential for a rapid rollout of IoT connectivity that doesn’t exist today, particularly outside cities, and thus acting as a catalyst to accelerate the introduction of the advantages of IoT in multiple application areas otherwise dependent on waiting many years for terrestrial coverage to catch up (if at all), or for other space-based services to come on the market later or sooner.
As well as the interfaces with S4M’s TELDASAT project IoTEE contributes to other projects and initiatives, both from ESA and within the IoT community including the EC initiative Alliance for the Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI).

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