Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications Simplifying Groundwater Monitoring Worldwide

Schlumberger Water Services Employs Telit M2M Wireless Modules to Gather Real-Time Data for City, Rural and Mining Applications

Continual investment in leading-edge technology is a key company strength that allows Schlumberger Water Services (SWS) (1) to optimize its services offered in the field of the management of sustainable (ground-) water resources all over the world. SWS is utilizing advanced machine-to-machine (M2M) communications modules from Telit Wireless Solutions combined with the Schlumberger Diver-NETZ solution (2) to monitor groundwater levels for cities, water boards and mining applications worldwide.

SWS and Telit developed a dedicated gateway that enables the wireless transmission of data acquired by SWS Diver-DXT, which connects to Diver groundwater monitoring devices. The groundwater monitoring devices are installed in the wells to continuously provide real-time status regarding water depletion or the potential for flooding, salinization and pollution.

Without the ability to obtain groundwater data wirelessly, personnel would have to visit each well to regularly record measurements. These wells are often located in inhospitable places that can be dangerous to visit or in cities where wells are not easily accessible. Groundwater levels can now be monitored in real-time remotely at any place from PC or laptop.

Thanks to our solution, time and costs associated with groundwater monitoring are now dramatically reduced while the total number of data samples can be increased,” said Peter Westerhuis, general manager, Schlumberger Water Services.

Data from SWS wireless groundwater monitoring systems are used by several municipalities and water boards in the Netherlands to reduce risks from flooding as well as for long-term planning and development.  In the pilot projects the system is being used in different applications such as monitoring the effects of treated waste/sewage water injected into an aquifer, while mining companies in Florida and Chile wirelessly monitor groundwater supplies required for extraction. The monitoring system can also detect salinity levels, which rise as drinkable water is depleted, and temperature, which can act as an alert to various pollutants if it rises.

We are honored to be working with Schlumberger Water Services in managing and protecting the world’s most precious resource through M2M groundwater monitoring networks,” said Dominikus Hierl, chief marketing officer at Telit Wireless Solutions.

“This latest vertical M2M application proves once again the societal benefits of having real-time information delivered wirelessly to decision-makers, providing them comprehensive understanding of specific situations so they can productively move forward with confidence.”

With the increasing human population and the effects of climate change, regular and reliable measuring and monitoring of groundwater levels is becoming even more significant than before,” said Westerhuis.  “Telit’s cellular and short-range RF technologies play a unique and vital role in enabling groundwater monitoring unmatched by any other wireless solution.

As the industry’s only technology company dedicated solely to M2M, with its wireless module technology and newly launched value-added services, Telit enables solution providers to easily create and manage their M2M applications reducing total-cost-of–ownership (TCO) necessary to operate and support user-applications while ensuring highest quality and reliability.

Technology background

SWS and Telit devised two systems that enable the wireless transmission of data acquired by SWS Diver-DXT: a mobile solution for smart phones or field PC’s and a stationary solution.

For the mobile or drive-by solution, the Diver-DXT, equipped with a gateway using Telit’s ZE60 module, transmits groundwater data via radio frequencies to the Diver-Gate(M) mobile device. The ZE60 is a module developed in corporation with SWS with a low power protocol. Diver-Gate(M) is a Bluetooth device, which transmits the data to a smartphone. Thus users can forward the relevant data to an SWS server or work directly on-site with them.

For the stationary or fixed network solution, several Diver-DXT devices transmit the data to a central, stationary Schlumberger Diver-Gate(S) device. The cellular Diver-Gate(S) device is equipped with a gateway solution including the ZE60 and a Telit GC864-Quad V2 module to transmit the data via GSM/GPRS to a SWS server.

Telit’s GC864-Quad V2 is one of the smallest GSM/GPRS quad-band modules with industrial connectors in the market. According to Telit Unified Form Factor, the V2 modules are designed to be compatible with Telit’s GSM/GPRS and UMTS products in the compact, unified form factor family, allowing easy scalability and shorter time-to-market for new design. With its ultra-compact design and extended temperature range, the Telit GC864-QUAD V2 is the perfect platform for medium-volume M2M applications and mobile data devices.

The short range modules from Telit eliminated the need for our Diver-DXT device to be certified by a service provider, while the data transmission is free which helps us to keep prices low for our customers,” Westerhuis added.

Therefore, we decided to realize our solution with a combination of license-free frequencies and GSM/GPRS. Telit was the only company that could offer both technologies, which was a clear advantage for us. The choice for the short range radio was the option to use one GSM module with several DXT-units, thus lowering costs. The choice for Telit was made based upon the technologies available and the experience Telit was offering in this field“.


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