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Spirent adds BeiDou Phase-3 signals to its GNSS RF constellation simulators

By Zenobia Hegde

Spirent Communications plc, the provider in BeiDou, GPS and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) testing solutions, announced that BeiDou Phase 3 signals have been added to its GNSS RF constellation simulators.The addition of these new signals to the GSS7000 and GSS9000 simulators follows the launch of the first two Beidou-3 satellites in November 2017.

Phase 3 of the Chinese BeiDou system will extend its coverage from Asia to the whole world, and will provide receiver developers and integrators with additional GNSS signals to make positioning, navigation and timing systems more accurate, and help to support new applications, such as autonomous vehicles.

The new signals will use the same carrier frequencies as the GPS and Galileo systems, so chipset manufacturers and device developers will need to test integrated designs to avoid problems caused by confusing data from different GNSS.

“By offering the BeiDou Phase 3 signals, our customers can test their designs well before the system is fully operational, which is expected in 2020,” said Stuart Smith, lead product manager. “With signals already starting to appear, it is important for developers to have test tools that can ensure devices will successfully make use of all GNSS signals.”

BeiDou Phase 3 signals are available immediately on the GSS7000 and GSS9000 simulators, and existing users can obtain the software upgrade by contacting Spirent.

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Machfu Announces Release of MACH-3 Industrial Internet of Things Platform and Gateway

By IoT – Internet of Things

Machfu, an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology company, announced today the release of its MACH-3 IIoT Gateway, a device allowing companies in energy, water, oil and gas as well as other industrial segments to seamlessly connect legacy infrastructure to cloud based IoT and existing SCADA systems. The product was designed to both simplify the […]

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Machfu announces release of MACH-3 IIoT platform and gateway

By Zenobia Hegde

Machfu, an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology company, announced the release of its MACH-3 IIoT Gateway, a device allowing companies in energy, water, oil and gas as well as other industrial segments to seamlessly connect legacy infrastructure to cloud based IoT and existing SCADA systems.

The product was designed to both simplify the connection and management of devices as well as provide a secure and easily customisable application framework to process and manage data at the network edge. The versatile functionalities of the MACH-3 IIoT Gateway will be demonstrated at the 2018 DistribuTECH show, January 22-25 in San Antonio, Texas.

“The MACH-3 IIoT Gateway allows companies to securely gather actionable data from legacy infrastructure in an elegant and straightforward manner, enabling them to make informed, strategic business decisions in ways that would previously require enormous financial and time investments,” said Prakash Chakravarthi, CEO, Machfu.

Deployment of this platform enables enterprises to easily access and analyse data from diverse sources (i.e. sensors, controllers, smart grids, etc.) via secure wireless and wired connectivity as well as create and rapidly integrate “edge” and “emerging web-based” industrial IoT applications to existing infrastructure.

The application framework is “sandboxed” providing enterprises much needed flexibility in terms of adding/deleting APPs and drivers over the life of their system—much like a smartphone—based on their specific needs and/or requirements. Defense-in-depth security has also been built into the platform and extends from the physical to application layers.

“The resulting IIoT solutions decrease time to action and connectivity costs, while, simultaneously, minimising disruption and risk to existing automation systems,” added Chakravarthi.

There are many practical applications and benefits for the MACH-3 IIoT Gateway in the energy industry. “Using Machfu’s industrial hardened gateway, utilities can create and rapidly integrate next generation distributed control systems,” said John Geiger, V.P. business development, Machfu.

“For example, the Gateway provides the ability for any sensor to be transported as DNP3 objects to head-end SCADA applications over both private and public networks. It also provides a secure cellular overlay to existing private networks. The flexibility and versatility of the platform is its greatest asset.”

Machfu will be demonstrating the product at DistribuTECH 2018 held January 22-25 in San Antonio, TX (Booth 1862).

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Haier Unveils Complete Smart Home Solutions at CES

By IoT – Internet of Things

The 51st CES, the world’s most influential event for the technology industry, was held in Las Vegas from January 9th to 12th, Pacific Time. Intelligence and technology became the mainstream at this year’s session, where more than 3,900 exhibitors from around the world showcased their latest technological achievements. Chinese brand Haier displayed the world’s first […]

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Qorvo IoT Solution Powers Senior Home Care

By IoT – Internet of Things

Qorvo® is helping seniors live more independently in their homes with the help of a new eHealth system powered by the company’s chipsets for the Internet of Things (IoT). Health insurer CZ will provide the system to 3,000 elderly customers in the Netherlands, marking the first deployment of a senior smart home solution by a […]

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IoT device security startup Cog Systems closes $3.5M Series A

Cog Systems, an IoT device security startup from Sydney raised a $3.5M Series A round from the Grok Ventures led by Co-founder of software firm Atlassian.

D4 Secure Mobile – Architecture

Cog Systems primarily provides device protection and secure communication via its D4 platform offering non-bypassable full disk encryption, nested VPNs, separation kernel protection, and isolated key store.

It also provides embedded software SDKs (software development kits). The startup is targeting enterprise and government customers as it recently named Immix Group as the distributor to US Local, State, and Federal government. Customers can use the technology to secure their voice, video, and call data using Cog System’s D4 encryption technology. Mobile, gateways and IoT devices are the main devices secured by Cog Systems.

“Security of connected devices is increasingly an important challenge to solve. The team at Cog is world-class with deep expertise in solving complex problems.”Cannon-Brookes, co-founder Atlassian

The startup plans to use the funding proceeds to open a new office in San Francisco. It already operates offices in Sydney and Chicago. “By steering the security architecture from monolithic to modular, we have brought proactive security to governments and the enterprise without compromising the user experience,” said Cog Systems CEO Daniel Potts.

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Hydrogen drone with claimed 3-hour flight time and up to 2kg payload enters UK market

By Zenobia Hegde

UK drone technology and service provider uVue has taken delivery of what is believed to be the world’s first ever production hydrogen drone – the MMC Hydrone 1550 – enabling a new era for drone technology services in the UK to begin.

According to uVue, the MMC Hydrone 1500 is a huge breakthrough for the drone services industry because it is now a viable alternative for many services providers using manned helicopters and light aircraft. As a comparison, current battery powered drones average a 30 minute flight time with the voltage constantly dropping during flight. This compares to the MMC Hydrone 1500’s equivalent of three hours with a consistent voltage throughout.

The ultimate cost savings for many industries choosing an MMC Hydrone 1500 solution are therefore transformational. Examples of application industries that will benefit from this ground-breaking drone include precision agriculture, security & surveillance, traffic monitoring, emergency services and construction, to name a few.

Russ Delaney, director of Tech Ops at uVue, an ex-British Army helicopter instructor and drone pilot with more than 20 years’ experience of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) comments, “After extensive research into drone technology and potential solutions, we are delighted to be the first company to have been appointed to distribute and licence this incredible machine in the UK.

Aside from its robust performance, I am particularly impressed by the endurance of the MMC Hydrone 1500 – up to three hours flight time with a 2kg payload – making this a genuine game changer in our industry. The endurance of this particular Hydrone is so strong that it offers a real alternative to full-sized rotary aircraft.“

The key focus for uVue during the introduction of the Hydrone 1550 was that all of the onboard systems met the very high safety standards required to operate the drone safely within the UK commercial drone airspace, whilst also remaining within the regulations set by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

uVue is the exclusive licensed distributor for all MMC Drones and the MMC Hydrone 1550 is available to be bought or hired as a service proposition from uVue here.

Click here to see a video of the drone in flight.

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Wi-Fi hacking will move to Zigbee, Bluetooth and Sigfox says WatchGuard

By Zenobia Hegde

The commoditisation of wireless attack tools is driving Wi-Fi hackers to focus their attention on intercepting and decoding traffic from wireless devices based on protocols such as Zigbee, Sigfox and Bluetooth along with RFID, LoRa, and 802.11 variations, according to researchers at WatchGuard Technologies.

WatchGuard believes that the same trends that spurred the expansion of Wi-Fi hacking are now beginning to impact criminal activities involving other wireless standards and products, ranging from cars to gas and water meters, personal health devices and alarm systems.

“Wi-Fi attack tools with simple user interfaces such as the Wi-Fi Pineapple by Hack5 made it possible for amateurs to perform advanced Wi-Fi attacks and there are now some 3 million ‘how to’ videos online for performing man-in-the-middle attacks on 802.11 networks,” said Corey Nachreiner, CTO at WatchGuard. “These new attack trends focused on the likes of Zigbee, Bluetooth and Sigfox are possible due to the affordability and availability of software defined radios (SDRs), which allow a device to talk and listen to a very broad range of wireless frequencies.”

SDR-based attack tools such as the HackRF One by Great Scott Gadgets have already been introduced to the market and there is a growing community of YouTube videos, with ‘how to’ topics ranging from unlocking luxury car doors to spoofing GPS signals.

“With demand for wirelessly connected devices continuing to grow sharply and equipment vendors incorporating wireless connectivity into a variety of products we can expect to see new attacks leveraging SDR technology in 2018,” says Nachreiner.

See the WatchGuard prediction videos here.

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Internet of Things Platforms and Projects: 3 Programming Languages Worth Knowing

By Ashish Trikha

Click to learn more about author Ashish Trikha. Love it or hate it, but the Internet of Things (IoT) is not going away anytime soon. In recent times, the Internet of Things has permeated our day to day lives to improve the way we live, the way we work, and the way we entertain. In […]

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Hyperconvergence and computation at the edge: Part 3

By Zenobia Hegde

The adoption of edge and fog computing models is enabling enhanced efficiency, says Bob Emmerson. Data is generated at the edge and bringing processing power close to the source generates real-time information on which informed decisions and actions can be taken. This is an established trend that companies like VMware and Eurotech are advancing.

VMware provides a software-defined approach to hyperconvergence. It employs a hypervisor, aka a virtual machine monitor, in order to create and run virtual machines that deliver compute, storage and management in a tightly integrated software stack. Eurotech is an established supplier of enterprise-class Industrial IoT solutions that combine the company’s strengths on the Operational Technology (OT) side with the Information Technology (IT) expertise of ecosystem partners.

In the context of the trend towards edge computing, the two organisations have developed technology that employs VMware virtualisation technology, taking it from its regular role in the data centre / cloud and extending the benefits out to the edge of the OT network.

This development raises the hyperconvergence bar. The consolidation of functional elements in data centres at the hypervisor level, together with federated management, reduces inefficiencies and minimises the total cost of ownership of the underlying IT infrastructure. In order to provide similar benefits at the edge, Eurotech has signalled plans to market edge server and IoT gateway products that are pre-installed with VMware virtualisation technology.

The implementation of VMware hypervisor technology on transportation-grade hardware, e.g. Eurotech’s rail certified fan-less edge server platform, was demonstrated at the VMworld 2017 Events in Las Vegas and Barcelona.

The planned products also address application scenarios where multiple computer systems are deployed, each of which enables a specific OT solution. These systems will typically involve different hardware and software implementations, which will inevitably result in logistic and support problems, thereby reducing operational performance and increasing maintenance costs.

Employing virtualisation technology at the edge addresses these issues by reducing the effort and cost for managing and maintaining the various systems. Typical multiple computer systems range from demanding transportation solutions such as rolling stock, construction & mining machines, marine vessels, smart energy / smart grid and retail.

That was a short take on a development that looks set to play a significant role on the OT side of hyperconverged infrastructures. That said, it is work in progress and we will surely see similar but alternative concepts. For example, in the next blog which focuses on secondary storage, dedicated OT hardware products at the edge are replaced by hyperconverged nodes running vSphere, which is VMware’s cloud computing virtualisation platform.

The author of this blog is Bob Emmerson, freelance IoT writer and commentator.

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