How to Select the Right Telemetry System

Telemetry systems transmit data from sensors, giving operators a real-time data feed and remote monitoring capabilities.

Although the definition of “telemetry data” includes applications like cloud computing and monitoring spacecraft, this guide focuses on industrial telemetry applications using RF communication.

As Australia’s leading wireless communication engineering team, STI Engineering can help you untangle the telemetry web and design a system that exceeds expectations.

6 things to consider when choosing a telemetry data solution

1.     System demands

Unsurprisingly, the first consideration is what the telemetry system needs to achieve or enable.

Telemetry in industrial applications can mean many things ranging from environmental data collection to remote asset control, fleet tracking, and paging systems.

Every other consideration cascades from the use case.

2.     Coverage requirements

Large-area telemetry is not necessarily more complex than single-site applications.

However, there are implications for the RF modems, antennas, repeaters, and paging transmitters required to create a reliable network:

  • UHF or VHF data transmission
  • Licenced or licence-free data bandwidths
  • SCADA requirements
  • Ethernet serial modules for large areas
  • Powerful RF modems for challenging topography (e.g. underground mining)

System demands and the coverage map are the two basic steps for building or expanding a telemetry network.

Now let’s get into the specifics of wireless communication engineering.

3.     Capabilities

Modern telemetry systems do much more than collect data – or at least they should.

Once you start looking into wireless communication equipment, you might be surprised to learn what else telemetry can enable:

The RF Innovations range of telemetry data radios even features I/O-enabled units to power remote asset control. In modern data-driven industries, remote asset control improves efficiency, safety, and stability.

4.     Scalability

We typically recommend avoiding limited remote telemetry systems, even if they come with a lower price tag.

Multiprotocol support means you are not locked into a single communication protocol. Instead, you can use almost any PLC, RTU, HMI or DCS vendor to monitor and control assets.

In practice, this makes the telemetry system scalable in all directions. If you need to expand the network, add a new wireless communication module, adapt to monitor new data, or scale back, multiprotocol support provides that flexibility.

5.     Power consumption

Industrial telemetry does not, by default, place a heavy burden on power supplies. It depends on the in-situ specifics of the system.

For example, STI Engineering designs and manufactures high-power RF equipment for mining and resources applications, and low-powered modules for agriculture and environmental monitoring.

Power and data transfer speeds generally go hand-in-hand. Communication distance and topography also contribute to power requirements.

6.     Price

Telemetry data collection technologies vary widely in price depending on the scope and scale of the system.

It’s always tempting to choose the cheapest option. But rather than focusing on price in isolation, consider the value of reliable real-time data transfer. You might find some off-the-shelf solutions have capabilities you don’t need. In contrast, a custom telemetry network meets your requirements and provides flexibility to scale up or down.

Investing in advice from experienced RF engineers will result in a telemetry system that truly suits your requirements.

Contact STI Engineering or explore our telemetry equipment and RF engineering solutions to learn more.