The product offering described here is currently undergoing our scaling-up process. This means Telespazio Germany already has some customers, but we are still evolving the solution from a core functional product into a full set of complementary functionalities, products and services that will bring the maximum value for each specific customer.
IHM (Intelligent Hybrid Modem)
IHM stands for Intelligent Hybrid Modem, which provides a flexible BRLOS (Beyond Radio Line of Sight) capability at low latency and unique features (AI/ML and ultra-low-bandwidth video streaming) for (semi-)autonomous systems and applications.
It is conceived as a family of plug-and-play modules that can be added to the IHM-CORE SatCom module to deliver an "all-in-one" ultra-light, simple and convenient solution for specific use cases that need satellite communications and cellular networks for high-availability, reliable, on-the-move, two-way communication in remote locations. IHM relies on the Iridium® satellite constellation (Iridium NEXT, Certus 100, providing 22 kbps upload and 88 Kbps download velocities) and multiple terrestrial networks (LTE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth), while it also features numerous interfaces to integrate seamlessly with machines, drones, devices and networks.
IHM is currently mostly used by drones, light aviation and maritime use cases.
This project started in 2018 as an idea that was submitted for the Telespazio Group Innovation Award. The idea received a special mention and that triggered us to start exploring the idea. In 2020, several Proofs of Concept and prototypes were created and improved, and we engaged with some customers to validate our approach and interest from the market.
By 2021, alpha trials and field tests were concluded with success, not only technically but also commercially. These activities allowed customers to validate under realistic operational conditions both our technological approach and value propositions. We used these activities not only to get direct feedback, evaluation and requirements from users, but also to consolidate the specifications of our final MVP. By mid-2021, we also started our certification activities and, in line with our innovation process, the project progressed to the scaling-up stage, where we add additional resources.
As a result, IHM V2 was born and the scope of it was enlarged; with the existing IHM V1 becoming the core of the IHM but not the whole product. This has allowed us to focus on creating the best solution for specific market segments and use cases, where it excels when compared to other existing solutions.
Contrary to IHM V1, which was a fully integrated solution in one box, IHM V2 is a solution consisting of a collection of plug-and-play hardware components and modules, not a fully integrated single device. This way, a modular V2 system can be set up for each specific application and the modules can be easily replaced.
This design is based on the following objectives:
- minimise complexity (hardware, design, certification)
- minimise weight and size for drones
- minimise device cost
- minimise dependency on certain electronic components (e.g., processor)
- minimise customisation cost (changing processor / LoRa / Wi-Fi modules, etc.)
IHM is controlled by a microcomputer running Linux and its advanced and reliable firmware can be configured to use custom rule-based routing between the different networks, depending on the network availability and within a tolerance time. IHM also provides enough computational resources to run additional application-specific software on the same microcomputer.