What Do We Mean by "Real-Time"?

Posted by Philip Miller on Jul 18, 2016 1:11:00 PM

One of the really cool things about exactViewRT powered by Harris is that it is a “Real-Time” system.  You might wonder what we mean by this and how it is accomplished. The best way to think about what we mean is to think of how the Internet works.

The Internet consists of lots of routers that have intelligence allowing them to “route” internet traffic from any router to one or more other routers.  Attached to routers are servers that run programs making web pages, streaming video and myriads of other content available. 


exactViewRT operates on the Iridium NEXT satellite network.  Each Iridium NEXT satellite in the network communicates with its neighboring Iridium NEXT satellites.  Iridium has numerous ground stations strategically located around the world.  There are always multiple Iridium NEXT satellites over these ground stations even though individual satellites are only over the ground station for a short period of time. The Iridium NEXT satellite network always has a direct link to the ground through multiple ground stations.

The Iridium NEXT satellites are basically very sophisticated routers that always know how to get the traffic they carry to the ground through the satellites that are over ground stations.

The Iridium NEXT satellites also host programs that provide services to users.  For Iridium, those services are voice and data connections for users located across the globe to connect with users located anywhere else in the world.  For exactView RT the satellites host sensors and a program that detects maritime signals, such as AIS, located anywhere on the surface of the earth.  When signals are detected, they are immediately routed through the Iridium NEXT satellite network to the ground where they then become available to our customers.

So “Real-Time” means that from the time an AIS signal is detected to the time it is available for use by our customers is nearly the same.  The only difference is the time the message must spend being routed through the Iridium NEXT satellite network to the ground and then to you our customer.  This is precisely how the Internet works. The main difference being that the Iridium NEXT constellation is orbiting around the earth while the Internet is composed of routers that are based on the ground.

Check out this video clip of exactView RT powered by Harris:



Topics: Satellite AIS, real-ime Satellite AIS, exactView RT

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