In 2013, Geoforce launched the GT1 Global Asset Tracker, the world’s first and only battery-powered global satellite tracking device compliant with the latest international intrinsic safety standards. The original GT1 was truly revolutionary, providing numerous previously unavailable features, while allowing companies to monitor assets in regions of the world only accessible to satellite networks.
The GT1 was followed shortly by the GT0 Compact Asset Tracker, which provided many of the same benefits in an even smaller form factor that opened up numerous new use cases and asset applications.
In just a few short years, both devices were widely accepted by customers seeking the unparalleled operational intelligence they provided. Nearly 50,000 units were fielded to further expand the world’s largest network of connected field equipment that Geoforce had been building since 2007.
Like any good cutting edge tech company, since that initial launch, Geoforce has continued to advance this technology and develop new products that perform even better, while lasting longer than anything else on the market. I am proud to say the result of that work is today’s release of the latest generation of both the GT1 and GT0 tracking devices!
The next generation GT1 Global Asset Tracker is a total rebirth, as we have taken everything we have learned from our active deployments in over 70 countries to yield a truly next-generation device.
Significant improvements in embedded power management have enabled full service life from the embedded batteries, eliminating the hassle of field replacement. The new GT1 is a “set-and-forget” device with battery life lasting up to 6 years, dependent on the usage profile and operating environment. It incorporates smart power management to safeguard against field situations that, previously, could prematurely drain batteries. It also includes improved satellite transmitter and Bluetooth radio performance to maximize service life.
The original GT1 was encased in a zinc-metal housing and provided very rugged protection, but, like all things, “rugged” can always be improved. Thus, the new GT1 is protected by a much thicker, fully stainless steel bezel. Mechanical assembly improvements yield a device that can withstand 600g shock and 50gRMS vibration, and support a direct mechanical load of up to 10,000 lbs to the exterior surface with no observable damage.
Rugged just took on a whole new level.
Extended temperature range operation has been tested well beyond typical specification limits to create margin that didn’t exist before.
The worst enemy of any outdoor device is water intrusion. As such, the new GT1 was built to be impervious to water, with assembly and packaging design changes surviving weeks at 50m depths. In fact, the new GT1 was subjected to a barrage of mechanical and field testing never before performed on any GPS device to ensure it will remain the preeminent heavy industrial tag for at least the next decade. Why is this important? Because long battery life is worthless if the device dies in the environment. Still have doubts? Take a look at the laundry list of the certifications and qualifications of the GT1 listed here.
The GT1 is the only GPS tracking device specifically designed for the harsh realities of the field environment. Oil and gas is in our blood at Geoforce, so we know what it means to be “rugged”. The new GT1 further increases the gap between it and all other GPS devices who claim rugged field operation.
However, the GT1 is not just for oil and gas. It provides the same operational intelligence in any distributed field asset management application, from “yellow iron”, to over-the-road or military logistics, agriculture, or emergency response. The most exciting opportunities are the ones we haven’t even thought of yet, all enabled by the size and utility of this device.
While the next generation GT1 is impressive, let’s not forget that Geoforce is also simultaneously releasing the next generation GT0!
The GT0 is identical to the GT1 in every aspect except intrinsic safety requirements. Notably, the GT0 contains all the same rugged construction and firmware feature set as the GT1. The GT0 is literally palm-sized, light and able to fit on smaller assets in more field applications than any other satellite-based GPS tracking device. It comes without the heavy stainless bezel of the GT1, and instead uses VHB tape as the primary mounting method. However, optional plastic or stainless steel mounting bezels are available if necessary. For applications that don’t require the intrinsic safe certifications of the GT1, the GT0 is ideal.
Both the GT1 and the GT0 are designed with reliability and utility as the highest requirement. Geoforce has invested heavily in improving our internal quality management system (QMS) concurrent with our ISO:9001 certification. While it takes much longer to produce a device under ISO:9001 and QMS systems, every detail of the design and development process results in even better longevity and, ultimately, improved performance.
The new GT1 and GT0 are the result of over 15 years of satellite GPS tracking development experience, boiled down to a 3 inch square device. But don’t let the size fool you. The bar is set high and the GT1 and GT0 will change the way everyone looks at global asset management devices.
At Geoforce, our tagline is “we believe field operations don’t have to be chaotic”. By providing better utility and ROI for our customers through actionable intelligence, the next generation GT1 and GT0 are helping our customers continue to make that belief come true.
Gary Naden is the Chief Technology Officer at Geoforce. He has spent a quarter century bringing M2M-type communications technology to life, and into high-volume production. Gary delivers Geoforce’s customers a broad spectrum of capabilities centered on solution innovation, design, transfer to production and delivery of high-volume, high-quality, low-cost radio telemetry products. Over his career, he has seen millions of endpoint devices fielded in wireless metering and satellite communications with his core technology embedded.