Communication documentation in PDF form: Datei:Communication Module.pdf‎


This module facilitates the remote transfer of data to and from the lidar. It utilizes various modes of communication, both wired and wireless. It will interface with the GUI in the External Controller to transmit collected data and relay commands from the user. The wired piece of this module will most likely be integrated into the External Controller. A GPS system will also fall under this module.

Glossary of Terms

1. GUI: Graphical User Interface

2. GPS: Global Positioning System

3. PC: Personal Computer

4. PCI: A standard for connecting computers and their peripherals

Design Requirements

This section includes the objectives and constraints of the Communication module.

1. The Communication module should operate in a wide range of atmospheric conditions

  a. Relative Humidity of 25 to 75% (1   b. Temperatures from -30° to 60° C (2) 


This section describes the safety concerns of the Communication module, and suggestions for mitigating any possible risks.

The Communication module does not have many safety concerns. The only precautions that need to be taken involve protocol for installation, including instructions for grounding precautions before handling sensitive electronics to prevent static discharge damage. Furthermore, all electrical outlets should be insulated to prevent any contact between high voltages and users operating the system.

High Level Overview

This section will discuss the main functions of the Communication module and its constituent components.

This module is divided into two basic categories, wired and wireless, each with multiple subcomponents. The wired category is comprised of two subcomponents, the ethernet and USB ports. The ethernet port allows for a physical connection to an internet router to facilitate internet access, while the USB port will facilitate the connection to a PC for onsite access. The wireless category contains four different subcomponents, a mobile network modem, a satellite transceiver, a bluetooth modem, and a Wi-Fi access point. Each represents a different method of wireless communication. The mobile network modem creates a remote connection to the lidar over a commercial mobile network—a low cost option since it utilizes existing network infrastructure. This modem will also likely have GPS capabilities. The satellite transceiver uses Short Burst Data (SBD) transmission to send information via satellite communication. This will allow for a connection to a lidar in a remote location, beyond the reach of other methods. The bluetooth and Wi-Fi components can be used for close range wireless access to the lidar in order to troubleshoot and provide system updates. These components are most useful when a faster connection to the lidar is needed. The main difference between bluetooth and Wi-Fi is the faster speeds and greater range of the latter.

Communication System Diagram.jpg

Figure 1: System diagram for Communication

Low Level Information

This section will discuss the details of the Communication module.

Below are some general specifications for the various modes of wireless communication.

1. Mobile Network Modem(3)

-Data Rate: Up to 100Mbps -Size: 50 x 35 x 5mm -Weight: 10-50g -Interface: USB or PCI -GPS typically included -Power consumption ~ 1W, 3.6V DC -Price: ~ $250 (USD) 

2. Satellite Transceiver (4)

-Data rate: 340 byte bursts -Size: 162 x 81 x 28mm -Weight: 500g -Interface: Serial RS232 Data Port -GPS receiver can piggyback off this antenna -Power consumption ~ 1.6W, 4-32V DC 

3. Bluetooth (5)

-Data Rate: 2400-115200bps -Size: 42 x 16.5 x 5.6mm -Weight: 10g -Interface: RS232 -Power consumption ~ 0.2W, 3.3-6V DC -Price: ~ $25 (USD) 

4. Wi-Fi (6)

-Data Rate: Up to 150Mbps -Size: 74 x 67 x22 mm -Weight:  -Interface: Ethernet and USB -Power consumption: 5W 


Communication Dependency Map.jpg

Figure 2: Dependency map of Communication module; details in Table 1

Figure 2 shows the dependencies of the Communication module with the rest of the lidar system. The inputs and outputs are described in detail in Table 1 below. The descriptions are colour coded for ease of reading and transferring from diagram to text. This module will work very closely with the Control module, and some of its components may be physically part of control.

Inputs Outputs

– Power to operate transceivers and sensors


– User requests (Data access, scanner control)


-User requested data, system status


-Antenna port

Table 1: Inputs and outputs of Communication module


This module is currently in the abstract definition phase.


Type description of testing on module here.


Software and power diagrams should be created as needed.

Communication module colour (Hex code): #000000

Revision History

Description of Work Date Author
Initial document written 13.07.15 Frank Modruson IV
Added design requirements, system diagram, interfaces 15.07.15 Frank Modruson IV
Added new System diagram, dependency map, interfaces table, Safety section 30.07.15 Frank Modruson IV
Updated High Level Overview, updated Interfaces 31.07.15 Frank Modruson IV
General edits to grammar and style 31.07.15 Joshua Calafato, Katherine Maul, Frank Modruson IV, Alan Yeh
Added references, updated system diagram, minor format corrections 01.08.15 Frank Modruson IV


1. Iridium 9522B Satellite Transceiver. (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2015, from

2. NAL Research 9601 with GPS Receiver. (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2015, from

3. LTE Modem Specs for 3G and 4G | Gobi Modems. (2014, May 6). Retrieved August 1, 2015, from

4. ITAS Series – Iridium Transceiver Antenna System. (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2015, from

5. SparkFun Bluetooth Modem – BlueSMiRF Gold. (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2015, from

6. Portable 3G/4G Wireless N Router TL-MR3020. (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2015, from