Leveraging Sensor Data and the Internet of Things

Leveraging Sensor Data and the Internet of Things
Sensor technology has changed drastically over the last decade. Asset-intensive industries such as mining, distribution, and oil & gas use a large variety of sensing systems to monitor and optimize the efficiency of their operations. However, with so many different sensor types, vendors, and capabilities available on the market, this abundance of sensor data has resulted in data silos that, ironically, impede efficiency. As such, industry players are looking for ways to seamlessly and effortlessly aggregate this data so that its true value can be realized.

While sensors have been deployed to achieve better visibility into operations for decades now, the ability to leverage the ubiquity and reliability of the internet to unify these disparate sensors and systems into a coherent ‘system of systems’ has remained a missing piece. This is where a major opportunity for the Internet of Things (IoT) lies. With it, industry can get an unprecedented level of visibility into their operations, save valuable time and money, and increase safety.

By looking at the historical patterns captured by a system of sensors, companies can use machine learning methods to train AI to make predictions and provide early warnings before an issue arises, rather than having to react as quickly as possible after, preventing downtime, costly repairs, and potential disaster. By enhancing automation through an innovative assembly of sensors, actuators, and AI predictors, organizations can stop many accidents from ever happening.

OGC Member SensorUp has a long history in sensor web interoperability and is leading the charge in the area of IoT data integration. Location underpins sensor data, and SensorUp’s innovative use of open location standards plays a significant role in realizing their vision of automated data integration.
Leveraging Openness to Help Industry

“Openness is in the DNA of SensorUp,” said Steve Liang, Founder and CTO of the organization. “We believe the real potential of IoT, like the potential of the internet itself, lies in a richly connected ‘systems of systems’. It is like an orchestra capable of playing multiple musical compositions simultaneously. Interoperable standards are critical to realizing this.”

IoT with standardized sensors is helping traditional heavy industries with asset management, logistics, and more. The optimization and automation enhancements borne from integrated sensors and systems helps organizations be more productive and provide additional safety for the workforce. A good example of this is in infrastructure. Sensors and sensor data can monitor a component’s condition, such as parts of a bridge or tunnel. 

Organizations that can benefit from IoT optimization have common criteria:

  • They are sensor rich and asset intensive
  • Their operations are geographically distributed
  • They have many legacy systems
  • They are planning to deploy new sensing systems
  • They have incredibly complex operations

The energy, mining, and rail sectors now commonly use IoT and integrated systems to optimize operations. However, the falling costs of sensors has meant that other industries, such as food, waste management, renewable energy, and airports/ports now stand to gain from the roll-out of IoT monitoring systems, too.

Pictured from left to right: SensorUp Explorer -  Situational awareness at your fingertips, SensorUp Workflow Engine -  Increase productivity and deliver data faster by turning recurring tasks into event-based work, 3d point cloud showing realistic digital twin of a complex facility

Harmonizing IoT and Standards
By using IoT devices underpinned by open standards, SensorUp helps their customers maximize the value of their captured data, by applying efficiency gaining  Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques that provide them with the necessary competitive edge in today’s data-driven world. The use of open standards and protocols resonates with large enterprises, such as the US Dept. of Homeland Security and major energy companies, because it future-proofs their technology investments.

In order to help organizations create, maintain, and easily access well organized, actionable information, SensorUp participates in many OGC Standards Working Groups (SWGs)including, SensorThings API, Observation and Measurement, IndoorGML, CityGML, and more. This diversity in technology applications allows the company to provide solutions that are agile, interoperable, and user-friendly.

“SensorUp is very encouraged to see sensor-rich communities from non-typical geospatial communities adopting OGC sensor standards and optimizing their operations through AI and ML,” said Liang. “With such proliferation of sensor technologies, the major strides seen in industry over the previous decade will soon turn out to have been only the dawn of a bright future for IoT and sensor information.”