Mobexx has added a satellite communications capability to its Mentor Ranger in-vehicle computer to improve lone worker safety. The device switches automatically between cellular and satellite networks depending on the available coverage. This enhanced Work-Alone solution for mobile engineers maximises connectivity with the office, providing improved monitoring and communication whenever they are operating in high risk situations or isolated sites.
The new satellite interface allows the Work Alone system to operate in either cellular or satellite mode and compensates for cellular mobile phone blackspots on site or while travelling. The system uses the global Iridium satellite network that has 66 low-earth orbiting, cross-linked satellites. This provides a fully meshed network for comprehensive coverage, supported by in-orbit spares, which can be quickly repositioned and activated if needed.
Companies use the Work-Alone system for live monitoring of mobile engineers and their vehicles on computer screen. This gives complete information for each vehicle, including its duty status and a countdown to the engineer’s next update (check-in). This frees them from constantly contacting engineers by telephone or radio to find out if they are safe and how jobs are progressing.
Mobile staff wear an intrinsically-safe pendant to check-in to the system. They simply click the button to activate the system, which triggers a countdown to the next required status update. If an engineer misses a check-in, the system creates an automatic alert, which highlights the vehicle on the office computer screen. Alerts are also created by pressing the pendant’s panic button or if the pendant is motionless for a preset time. The system can also provide automatic email alerts of the missed check-in or panic event to managers.
The lone-worker monitoring solution is part of an oil and gas mobile workforce management software suite called Mentor Streets Oil and Gas, which is already available from Mobexx. This robust software can dramatically improve operational efficiency in work order management, field operator safety, billing and data entry, as well as fleet monitoring and maintenance.