Celium consists of an array of communication devices, called ‘nodes’, which are equipped with sensors. The sensors are designed to monitor parameters (for example the status of a trap) which the nodes then communicate to a base station, or ‘hub’. The Celium hubs then transmit the resulting data via satellite to secure cloud servers. After processing, the data is delivered to users through a variety of channels. These include the Encounter Solutions web portal, email and mobile applications running on smart devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Celium is ideal for connecting and remotely monitoring and controlling numerous devices in rural and remote landscapes. The applications are myriad and include such things as pest animal traps, wildlife monitoring, climate/agriculture instrumentation, metering, security systems and infrastructure monitoring. Celium brings the ‘Internet of Things’ to rural and remote landscapes, thereby enabling governments, landowners, rural businesses and communities to optimise the way they manage natural resources.

The Celium Platform – Wireless Sensor Network and Applications

Key benefits of the Celium network

Long range – Designed for deployment over large areas of rural and remote land, even in rugged conditions, Celium can send data over very long distances. In fact Encounter Solutions has validated communications over distances in excess of 50 kilometres with its standard nodes (see right for an appreciation of the scale). This is more than double the distance described as ‘long range’ by some other Low-Power-Wide-Area- Network systems that operate at radio frequencies above 800-MHz. In addition to communicating over long distances, Celium also delivers remarkable non line-of-sight performance, across hilly topography and through dense, wet vegetation (see example below).

Celium’s range in line-of-sight conditions has been recorded at over 50 kilometres. This example shows a Celium deployment in Auckland, New Zealand, with range rings out to 50 kilometres for an appreciation of scale.
The above image shows a successful Celium deployment communicating in non line-of-sight conditions over steep and forested topography. The indicated node is located 2.4 kilometres away from the hub site. This example is from Mahia, New Zealand.

Low power – Celium, requires very little power to run and complex high power radio equipment is not needed. This makes it readily portable, fast to deploy and enables sensor nodes to operate on inexpensive AA batteries for several years. Battery lifetime is influenced by a range of factors including the frequency and duration of the transmissions, the amount of data to be sent and the quality of service. However, because of Celium’s excellent long range performance, simple power efficient network configurations can be used to extract long operational lifetimes from batteries.

Reduced cost – Celium is capable of delivering significant benefit-to-cost ratios to pest trapping programmes carried out over large areas. This is because these operations are labour intensive and research based on real world data indicates that wireless technology like Celium could save up to 50-70%* of these operational costs. Analysis of trapping programme data from New Zealand Regional Councils that Encounters Solutions is already working with suggests that these operational savings may even exceed 80% in some circumstances.

Flexible – Designed to be exible, Celium hubs have been installed on and in buildings, on fence posts and even in trees. Celium nodes can be connected to and monitor many different devices and a wide variety of assets. They even have multiple ways for users to interact with them. Celium works indoors and outside, in urban centres and on islands. As a result, the potential applications are simply too numerous to list.

Proven – Celium has already been installed on islands, in forests, around lakes and wetlands, in coastal areas, over steep topography, amongst stock on productive farmland and in urban areas. As at February 2016, New Zealand Celium installations have transmitted over 40,000 messages associated with trapping networks. In the process, Celium messages have travelled more than 113,000 km across remote and rural landscapes.

* Jones C, Warburton B, Carver J, Carver D 2015. Potential applications of wireless sensor networks for wildlife trapping and monitoring programs. Wildlife Society Bulletin 39: 341–348.

Celium hubs
Hubs are responsible for monitoring and administering the nodes within their jurisdictions. Celium hubs on-forward acquired data to Encounter Solutions’ cloud servers principally via satellite. The hubs are lightweight and designed so they can be carried and installed by one person. Their batteries are kept charged using solar energy. Celium hubs are equipped with both wired and wireless (Bluetooth) connectivity for administration and data download purposes.

Celium nodes
Nodes are wireless communication devices which are equipped with, or connected to, sensors. Celium custom designed nodes run on AA batteries, are able to perform a wide variety of functions and monitor a range of different parameters and assets. Though high performance devices, they are tough enough to withstand demanding conditions. Celium nodes have their own built in low power user interface, however, for administration purposes and ease of interaction, mobile devices can wirelessly connect to them as well.