Satellite System Offers Tracking of Remote Assets

Published: February 19, 2024

Companies are using the Spot Trace satellite system to track snow mobiles, boats and other assets that are out of range of IoT gateways or cellular connectivity

When guests at Wyoming resort Albany Lodge head into the woods on rented snowmobiles, they have over 1 million acres of the Medicine Bow National Forest to explore. But how the lodge tracks its nearly 100 recreational vehicles—including snow cats and side-by-sides—has been a challenge.

The solution the lodge deployed is the Spot Trace satellite based tracking system to keep an eye on its assets, even in the snowy forest.

Companies like the Albany Lodge are using the satellite-based solution from Spot LLC, a Globalstar company, to ensure that even at sea or in deep forests, they never lose view of high value equipment or goods.

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Alternative to Cellular or IoT technologies

Spot sells satellite safety devices used by hikers, skiers or others who need location-based tracking. But companies are increasingly using the Spot Trace solution to track their assets where other technologies aren’t available.

Wireless technologies such as LoRaWAN, Zigbee, Ultrawide Band, and Bluetooth all can identify and connect an object at varying ranges. But there are some places where such connectivity isn’t available and cellular gateways aren’t within range.

Todd West, Globalstar’s sales manager, says Spot Trace leverages the ubiquitous nature of satellites which are always within transmission range at any place in the world.

Battery Powered Tracker, Aimed at Sky

The three-ounce, 2.69 by 2-inch tracker (.95 inches wide) can be connected to a high value object that will be out of usual connectivity technology. It comes with a DC power cable, and can operate with four AAA batteries. Users purchase the tracker for $129 each.

The device needs to be mounted on an asset facing skyward.

To set it up, users utilize the Activate service on the FindMeSpot website. They can configure details such as how often the device transmits and what alerts are needed (such as movement or low battery) from every 2.5 minutes to every hour, connected to the Globalstar satellite network.

Sending Text or E-mail Alerts

The Spot Mapping service captures the GPS coordinates of the tracker each time it transmits. Users can receive text or email notifications when the Spot Trace’s vibration sensor detects the asset has moved. The tracker also transmits according to the preset intervals to indicate where it is.

If the user has specific parameters within which the asset needs to stay, they can view when that item crosses that line and send someone to the site to intervene.

The Spot Trace has a Dock Mode as well, specifically designed to track an asset that is primarily stored on water. To accommodate for the constant movement of a vessel on the water, the software is configured to screen for specific coordinates related to deliberate re-locations.

Detecting Stolen Vehicles

Spot Trace is used by individuals tracking a few high value assets, or businesses with fleets of assets that could be vulnerable because of their location.

West recalled a user of the solution who recently located their missing vehicle in Mexico. The vehicle had the tracker installed on it and its rightful owner was then able to identify exactly where the vehicle was so that they could call the authorities.

“He was able to provide the exact GPS location to the police, who were able to retrieve his car,” said West.

In the case of Albany Lodge, 90 percent of its property and forest are outside of cellular connectivity. To prevent users from entering designated Wildlife Zones in the park, lodge management created geofences to alert employees when vehicles ventured out of the authorized area. The system also sends an alert if a vehicle enters the highway.

The lodge has deployed Spot X two-way satellite messenger devices, worn or carried by its field personnel connected, as a safety precaution. The technology ensures that such personnel can be located even in difficult weather conditions.

Key Takeaways:
  • Spot Tracer provides IoT connectivity to track assets, anywhere, with the help of Globestar satellites.
  • The technology helps locate stolen assets and confirms when a piece of property passes an approved perimeter.