“The Autonomous Vehicle Will Stay Connected – Even When There’s No Network Coverage”

AYECKA is developing breakthrough satellite communication solutions that provide network coverage to critical applications, even in remote locations. The next goal: Revolutionize communication to autonomous vehicle

Agam Kedem Levi, partnered with AYECKA
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Stationary system for IOT agricultureCredit: BEEPTOOL
Agam Kedem Levi, partnered with AYECKA
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The story behind the founding of AYECKA starts at the dawn of the days of the internet, in the most remote corners of the world. “At first, we focused on using satellites to supply internet connectivity to locations in Africa and South America, where regular internet reception simply did not exist,” recounts Avi Barda, the company’s chairman and chief architect. “People bought our systems and used them to run internet café businesses. Since then, we serve as internet ‘plumbers.’ We work with exceptionally long information transmission pipes; as long as 72 thousand kilometers, traveling to the satellite and then back to Earth.”

From the early Internet days, much water has passed under the bridge – or, more precisely, through the pipes. AYECKA has positioned itself as one of the leading satellite and internet/network connectivity companies, especially in the IoT space.

“Think about a farmer taking care of his chicken coop,” Barda explains. “To control the coop’s temperature or humidity level, he installs all sorts of sensors that are meant to report to a remote computer. Often, the farmer doesn’t have reliable cellular service, much less land-based communications methods. This is where we and our satellite communication solutions come in to the picture.”

To address IoT internet communication needs, AYECKA developed an advanced router that is capable of communicating with geostationary satellites – those that are orbiting above at a fixed location above Earth. “Our satellite router provides reliable connectivity to that coop in Africa, as well as to many other customers,” Barda says.

Salit Even Shoham, the company’s projects manager, explains that that satellite router is based on a technological breakthrough. “We redesigned the architecture behind these types of products,” she says. “In the past, to enable such satellite communications, two different units had to be installed, and expensive cables had to connect them. We were able to unify our router into a single end unit, thereby reducing the entire system’s size. The bottom line: we are providing more reliable communications than our competitors – at a more affordable price.”

“For years a significant technological challenge prevented us from reducing the overall system size,” Barda adds. “The smaller the router’s antenna is, the more it is likely to disrupt neighboring satellites. We succeeded in developing a unique patent that overcomes those disruptions, using Spread spectrum technology. Namely, we were able to unify the entire system into a single end unit, without inhibiting broadcast quality.”

Avi Barda, the company’s chairman and chief architect and Salit Even Shoham, the company’s projects manager

AYECKA’s unique solution is capable of providing network coverage to the most remote locations across the globe, more affordably than ever before. According to Even Shoham, “Instead of traveling to the middle of Siberia to install a cumbersome and expensive cellular tower, our clients can install a small antenna on their wall, connect it to electricity, and immediately enjoy access to the Cloud.”

Accelerating the autonomous car revolution

AYECKA is already gearing up for the next big revolution. The company has started developing special technological solutions for autonomous vehicles, understanding that the automotive industry is in desperate need of a new generation of satellite communication solutions. Remarkably, all eyes within the satellite communication field are turned towards the “half-second barrier.”

Most communication satellites that are currently in operation are geostationary satellites, which circle the planet from a height of 36 thousand kilometers. That said, geostationary satellites have a drawback; they suffer from a inherent half-second delay.

“You can compare these satellites to a large mirror in space” Barda says. “They receive a signal from the ground, and broadcast it back. The downside of this process is that between broadcasting the signal and receiving a response, half a second is lost. While that’s completely fine, when talking about cash register communications, and even video calls, but it’s downright inacceptable, when talking about the autonomous car eco system.”

The autonomous vehicles expected to hit the streets in the coming years are in need of reliable satellite communications, even in instances where there is no cellular coverage. Autonomous vehicles will have to communicate with the network as well as with other cars; continuously sending and receiving information. “Smart cars will have to update the network on each and every mishap and accident on the road,” Barda explains. “After all, no one will trust a car that can’t keep track of its location or maintain control, just because it lost cellular connectivity. In such cases, we don’t have a half-second to lose. Additionally, the antenna size on a car is an important factor.”

AYECKA’s team is working to resolve this issue and has begun to work with a different type of satellites; Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. “Presently, we can launch a network of LEO satellites; namely, an entire constellation of small satellites, sent to ~1,000 kilometers orbit from Earth. This proximity reduces the inherent delay to just 15 milliseconds; 1:30 of the traditional solutions.”

The company received funding from the Israel Space Agency, and competes on the multi-national space competition, sponsored by the Mercedes Benz Group (Daimler, Chrysler, and Mercedes Benz). This new development is based on a breakthrough system that includes a space communication component that will be deployed as part of the satellite itself, as well as a ‘user terminal’ unit (communication terminal) for the autonomous vehicle.

“We developed a reduced antenna that’s the size of an iPhone,” Barda recounts. “It will be able to communicate with the satellite, which will execute the complex and critical calculations. Our ability to make those calculations on the satellite, without having to transfer it to an external system, enables us to save even more precious time. The entire process will take less than 20 milliseconds, and will enable precise information to be rapidly transmitted, even in areas that do not have cellular or other network coverage.”

According to Barda, AYECKA’s significant advantage is its flexibility. “We have a deep understanding of the market – on technological and commercial levels. The company’s veteran team has been working together for 20 years. That said, we continue to operate as a young, dynamic, and highly-motivated company that’s ready to change the world for the better. Our technology team is able to execute any decision we make, from the initial planning stage and through to product launch, while providing advanced support services to all our clients. The market is currently exploding; I am happy we are able to identify market trends at early stages, and connect our technological advantages to real market needs.”

Partnered with AYECKA