Traffic Controller Units (tcu)

Advanced narrow band traffic Controller units (tcu)

Abstract

The present invention is directed to novel tools and systems for controlling narrow band data (e.g., data communication and telecommunications) pathways through selective engagement with one or more narrow band platforms of an omni-grid system. These methods further comprise enhanced compression methods suitable to structure the data for controlled data flow in an omni-grid system. In particular, the tools and the systems of the present invention provide improved transmission to off-grid environments (e.g., stronger, faster, and stable with less latency, jitter, and/or packet loss under difficult/harsh signal conditions), including in the context of an urban environment where one may be off the grid temporarily due to an emergency, in educational settings, as well as for use in geographically remote locations not in proximity to physical network infrastructure (e.g., for Internet of Things data access).

A PDF version of the patent document for Traffic Controller Units will be accessible for retrieval soon.

Background of the Invention

Communication of data to off-the-grid environments has proven challenging for years, and continues to this day to be difficult in existing systems of communication. In fact, current off-the grid, or “off-grid,” designs (which are typically resource-constrained), are often further limited to a specific set of interacting devices or means of communication; each of which has significant limitations. All of which, however, afford limited bandwidth for carrying voice or minimal data over these devices, resulting in poor transmission quality, speed, and stability of signal. This means any demanding data or tele- communication with remote or off-grid locations is less than viable.

Radio services, such as General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), Family Radio Service (FRS) and Citizens Band (CB) Radio have been used for local communication in off-grid environments, but have a very limited range. Further, they are limited in many ways by different terrain as well as by the surrounding structures; for example, there are increased limitations in mountainous regions. In contrast, most all forms of communications today utilize some amount of on-grid support typically implemented using narrowband telecommunication and data communication technologies to carry voice and data on a limited number of frequency sets, e.g., that spans from 50 cps to 64 kbit/s.

As such, in the context of an urban environment where one may be off the grid temporarily due to an emergency, in educational settings, as well as for use in geographically remote locations not in proximity to physical network infrastructure (e.g., for Internet of Things data access), there is significant need for more robust tools and systems of communication that are capable of higher quality off-grid use. In particular, there is a need for new tools and systems that work both off-grid as well as on-grid to support a fluid array of communication options.

Summary of the Invention

Accordingly, the present invention is directed to novel tools and systems for controlling narrow band data (e.g., data communication and telecommunications) pathways through selective engagement with one or more narrow band platforms of an omni-grid system. These methods further comprise enhanced compression methods suitable to structure the data for controlled data flow in an omni-grid system. In particular, the tools and the systems of the present invention provide improved transmission to off-grid environments (e.g., stronger, faster, and stable with less latency, jitter, and/or packet loss under difficult/harsh signal conditions), including in the context of an urban environment where one may be off the grid temporarily due to an emergency, in educational settings, as well as for use in geographically remote locations not in proximity to physical network infrastructure (e.g., for Internet of Things data access).

As such, one aspect of the invention provides an advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) for controlling narrow band data (e.g., data communication and telecommunications) pathways through selective engagement with one or more narrow band platforms of an omni-grid system, and engineered with enhanced compression methods suitable to structure the data for controlled data flow in an omni-grid system. In certain aspects of the invention, the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit comprises a machine-readable medium having instructions stored thereon for execution by a processor to perform a method comprising the steps of: receiving narrow band data into a data structuring queue on a second machine-readable medium; monitoring the data structuring queue to identify narrow band frequency; enhancing the narrow band data flow rate using data structuring compression selected based on the identified narrow band frequency for controlled data flow; and transmitting the structured data to the appropriate narrow band broadcast transmitter for broadcast transmission (e.g., capable of receipt by a receiver configured to receive structured data derived from the advanced narrow band TCU), such that the controlled data rate affords improved transmission (e.g., stronger, faster, and stable with less latency, jitter, and/or packet loss under difficult/harsh signal conditions).

Another aspect of the invention provides an omni-grid system (OGS) designed for narrow band communication engineered to operate off-grid and on-grid comprising: an advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of the present invention; a narrow band broadcast transmitter operationally associated with the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit; a narrow band receiver operationally associated with the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit; and an interfacing unit suitable for monitoring, storing and manipulating narrow band data.

Detailed Description Of The Invention

The systems and tools of the present invention facilitate communication between individuals around the planet in stressed environments or remote locations, provide immediate connections to communication networks for any environment on or off the grid, offer multiple options to share and receive information, and are capable of adaption to connect devices (including Internet of Things devices) for countless uses that require connections in distant locales.

Accordingly, the present invention is directed to novel tools and systems for controlling narrow band data (e.g., data communication and telecommunications) pathways through selective engagement with one or more narrow band platforms of an omni-grid system. These methods further comprise enhanced compression methods suitable to structure the data for controlled data flow in an omni-grid system. In particular, the tools and the systems of the present invention provide improved transmission to off-grid environments (e.g., stronger, faster, and stable with less latency, jitter, and/or packet loss under difficult/harsh signal conditions), including in the context of an urban environment where one may be off the grid temporarily due to an emergency, in educational settings, as well as for use in geographically remote locations not in proximity to physical network infrastructure (e.g., for Internet of Things data access).

The tools and systems of the present invention work both off-grid as well as on-grid to support a fluid array of communication options. Moreover, the omni-grid systems of the present invention are capable of establishing trusted device and user communities off-grid, for example, integrating Wi-Fi mesh, GoTennas mesh, cellular mesh, UHF/VHF mesh and LoRaWan mesh networks. If Internet Service is unavailable, the user/device community of an omni-grid system of the present invention utilizes a satellite Internet hotspot for chat and other low-bandwidth applications. In this respect, users benefit from having access to diverse capabilities which may be extended or further self-adapted for their particular needs, in dynamically changing off-the-grid contexts. With on-grid utility of the omni-grid systems of the present invention, users also benefit from occasional and limited access to a very low-bandwidth satellite Internet connection, or Wi-Fi, or 4G LTE access to dynamically relocatable hotspots.

The omni-grid systems of the present invention provide for the integration of numerous narrowband broadcast platforms, including the ability of remote locations to robustly interface with Internet of Things via narrowband. Moreover, in certain embodiments, the systems provide graceful degradation across a multitude of networks, multiple devices, and cloud services with secure edge access, which is not readily available from any other off-the-grid solution.

The present invention, including systems, tools, and related methods will be described with reference to the following definitions that, for convenience, are set forth below. Unless otherwise specified, the below terms used herein are defined as follows:

Definitions

As used herein, the term “a,” “an,” “the” and similar terms used in the context of the present invention (especially in the context of the claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and plural unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by the context.

The term “blockchain” is art-recognized, and is used to describe a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data, and as such, by design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data. Blockchain is often used as an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.

The term “interface” is art-recognized, and is used herein to describe a shared boundary across which two separate components of a computer system exchange information, which can be between software, computer hardware, peripheral devices, humans and combinations of these. In specific embodiments, the term “interface” may be a user interface, e.g., a graphic user interface. Moreover, the operation of two separate components across the boundary, as in the interaction of the user with a user interface, is referred to herein as “interfacing.” In certain embodiments, the interfacing may be bi-directional. In other embodiments, the interfacing may be uni-directional.

The term “LoRaWAN” is art-recognized, and used to describe a media access control (MAC) protocol for wide area networks designed to allow low-powered devices to communicate with Internet-connected applications over long range wireless connections. The LoRaWAN protocols are defined by the LoRa Alliance which are formalized in the LoRaWAN.

The language “machine-readable medium” is art-recognized, and describes a medium capable of storing data in a format readable by a mechanical device (rather than by a human). Examples of machine-readable media include magnetic media such as magnetic disks, cards, tapes, and drums, punched cards and paper tapes, optical disks, barcodes, magnetic ink characters, and solid state devices such as flash-based, SSD, etc. Machine-readable medium of the present invention are non-transitory, and therefore do not include signals per se, i.e., are directed only to hardware storage medium. Common machine-readable technologies include magnetic recording, processing waveforms, and barcodes. In particular embodiments, the machine-readable device is a solid state device. Optical character recognition (OCR) can be used to enable machines to read information available to humans. Any information retrievable by any form of energy can be machine-readable. Moreover, any data stored on a machine-readable medium may be transferred by streaming over a network. In a particular embodiment, the machine-readable medium is a network server disk, e.g., an internet server disk, e.g., a disk array. In specific embodiments, the machine-readable medium is more than one network server disk.

The term “mesh” is art-recognized, and used to describe an interconnection among devices or nodes, which often consist of mesh clients, mesh routers and gateways. The mesh clients are frequently laptops, cell phones and other wireless devices; while the mesh routers forward traffic to and from the gateways which may be connected to the internet (but are not necessarily connected to the internet). In a wireless mesh network, as a low-mobility centralized form of wireless ad hoc network, topology tends to be static, so that routes computation can converge and delivery of data to their destinations can occur. The coverage area of the radio nodes working as a single network is often called a “mesh cloud,” and access to this mesh cloud is dependent on the radio nodes working in harmony with each other to create a radio network. Using redundancy principles, if one node can no longer operate, the rest of the nodes can still communicate with each other, directly or through one or more intermediate nodes.

The term “narrow band” is art-recognized, and is used herein to describe data communication and telecommunication frequency platforms, as well as related tools, technologies and services that utilize a narrower set or band of frequencies in the communication channel. Narrow band channel frequency is considered flat, or which will use a lesser number of frequency sets. Exemplary narrow band platforms include, but are not limited to, cloud or internet, a mesh network (e.g., LoRaWan Wireless Mesh, GoTenna Mesh), satellite (e.g., Satcon & GPS), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular mobile (e.g., 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE networks, e.g., a smartphone; 5G, e.g., Firstnet), dynamic spectrum sharing radio services (such as CBRS and White Spaces, as well as higher frequency services used in backhaul; femto, pico, microcellular and distributed antenna systems typically integrated with cloud and Internet), and any combination thereof.

The language “omni-grid system” are used herein to describe communication systems that are capable of operating on both on-grid and off-grid environments.

The term “operationally associated” is used herein to describe items that are associated, connected, or related in such a manner as to achieve a common intended purpose of operation of the items together. For example, a narrow band broadcast transmitter may be operationally associated with an advanced narrow band traffic controller unit in such a way as to afford the ability of the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit to transmit the structured data generated by the advance narrow band traffic controller unit.

The term “storing” is art-recognized, and is used herein to describe the act of saving data on a machine readable medium in a manner that such data is subsequently retrievable on that machine readable medium.

The term “user” or “operator” are used interchangeably herein to describe any person that operates the systems of the present invention, e.g., interfaces with the user interface of the present invention. In certain embodiments, user is a “transmitting user,” which is defined with respect to a communication, and is used to describe the sender of that communication (i.e., to the receiving user). In certain embodiments, user is a “receiving user,” which is defined with respect to a communication, and is used to describe the receiver of that communication (i.e., from the transmitting user).

The language “wireless mesh” or “wireless mesh network” are used interchangeably herein, and are art-recognized to describe a communications network made up of radio nodes organized in a mesh topology. It is also one form of a wireless ad hoc network.

The Approach & Solution

Technical performance was evaluated while climbing and at the peak of Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and 3rd most dangerous volcano in the world.

Testing was CO2 monitoring and emergency response. Tests were conducted on an active volcano to determine how Internet-connectivity and off-grid emergency communications systems could operate in harsh electromagnetic environments. Scientists were able to be in constant satellite communications via the Imcon Cloud-Based omni-grid system with the Imcon Internet Backpack (IIB) Edgeware Platform over a tested distance of 10,944 km. Testing results showed that even when all normal communications systems are unavailable due to an eruption or earthquake event, the omni-grid systems of the present invention were able to maintain communications to other omni-grid systems of the present invention, and users and resources on the Internet anywhere.

Advanced Narrow Band Traffic Controller Unit (TCU) Of The Present Invention

The methods of the present invention are useful as instructions stored on a machine-readable medium for execution by a processor to perform the method. In certain embodiments, the methods and controller units of the present invention also make use and/or comprise a processor. Accordingly, any methods of the present invention, alone or in combination with other methods (such as those described herein or elsewhere) may be stored on a machine-readable medium for execution by a processor to perform the method. Such a composition comprises advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) for controlling narrow band data pathways through selective engagement with one or more narrow band platforms of an omni-grid system, and engineered with enhanced compression methods suitable to structure the data for controlled data flow in an omni-grid system.

In this respect, another embodiment of the present invention provides an advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) for controlling narrow band data (e.g., data communication and telecommunications) pathways through selective engagement with one or more narrow band platforms of an omni-grid system, and engineered with enhanced compression methods suitable to structure the data for controlled data flow in an omni-grid system.

In certain embodiments of the present invention, the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit comprises a machine-readable medium having instructions stored thereon for execution by a processor to perform a method, as described herein, for example, comprising the steps of:

Receive
I
Receiving narrow band data into a data structuring queue on a second machine-readable medium.
Monitor
II
Monitoring the data structuring queue to identify narrow band frequency;
Enhance
III
Enhancing the narrow band data flow rate using data structuring compression selected based on the identified narrow band frequency for controlled data flow; and
Transmit
IV
Transmitting the structured data to the appropriate narrow band broadcast transmitter for broadcast transmission.

In certain embodiments of the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of the present invention, the narrow band data received is captured by a narrow band receiver operationally associated with the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (e.g., from a data communication device or a telecommunication device). In certain embodiments, the narrow band receiver is a narrow band receiver for a narrow band platform selected from the group consisting of cloud or internet, a mesh network (e.g., LoRaWan Wireless Mesh, GoTenna Mesh), satellite (e.g., Satcon & GPS), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular mobile (e.g., 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE networks, e.g., a smartphone; 5G, e.g., Firstnet), dynamic spectrum sharing radio services (such as CBRS and White Spaces, as well as higher frequency services used in backhaul; femto, pico, microcellular and distributed antenna systems typically integrated with cloud and Internet), and any combination thereof.

In certain embodiments of the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of the present invention, the structured data is transmitted through a narrow band broadcast transmitter for a narrow band platform selected from the group consisting of cloud or internet, a mesh network (e.g., LoRaWan Wireless Mesh, GoTenna Mesh), satellite (e.g., Satcon & GPS), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular mobile (e.g., 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE networks, e.g., a smartphone; 5G, e.g., Firstnet), dynamic spectrum sharing radio services (such as CBRS and White Spaces, as well as higher frequency services used in backhaul; femto, pico, microcellular and distributed antenna systems typically integrated with cloud and Internet), and any combination thereof.

In certain embodiments of the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of the present invention, the method further comprises the step of receiving structured data, e.g., from a second advanced narrow band controller unit or other radio or cloud service. In certain embodiments, the structured data is received through a narrow band receiver for a narrow band platform selected from the group consisting of cloud or internet, a mesh network (e.g., LoRaWan Wireless Mesh, GoTenna Mesh), satellite (e.g., Satcon & GPS), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular mobile (e.g., 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE networks, e.g., a smartphone; 5G, e.g., Firstnet), dynamic spectrum sharing radio services (such as CBRS and White Spaces, as well as higher frequency services used in backhaul; femto, pico, microcellular and distributed antenna systems typically integrated with cloud and Internet), and any combination thereof.

In certain embodiments of the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of the present invention, each of the machine-readable media is selected from the group consisting of magnetic media, punched cards, paper tapes, optical disks, barcodes, magnetic ink characters, and solid state devices, e.g., one or more network server disks. In particular embodiments, the machine-readable medium is one or more network server disks.

In certain embodiments of the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of the present invention, the machine-readable medium is one or more solid state devices, e.g., including software defined radio and sensor networks, e.g., managed from the edge and/or multi-cloud as omni-grid cognitive radios.

In certain embodiments of the present invention, the first machine-readable medium and the second machine-readable medium are the same machine-readable medium.

Exemplification

Having thus described the invention in general terms, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings of exemplary embodiments, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, and which are not intended to be limiting in any way.

In this respect, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the description provided herein or illustrated in the Figures. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

Claims

1. An advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) for controlling narrow band data pathways through selective engagement with one or more narrow band platforms of an omni-grid system, and engineered with enhanced compression methods suitable to structure the data for controlled data flow in an omni-grid system, wherein the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit comprises a machine-readable medium having instructions stored thereon for execution by a processor to perform a method comprising the steps of: such that the controlled data rate affords improved transmission.

2. The advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of claim 1, wherein the narrow band data received is captured by a narrow band receiver operationally associated with the advanced narrow band traffic controller unit.

3. The advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of claim 2, wherein the narrow band receiver is a narrow band receiver for a narrow band platform selected from the group consisting of cloud or internet, a mesh network, satellite, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular mobile, dynamic spectrum sharing radio services, and any combination thereof.

4. The advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of claim 1, wherein the structured data is transmitted through a narrow band broadcast transmitter for a narrow band platform selected from the group consisting of cloud or internet, a mesh network, satellite, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular mobile, dynamic spectrum sharing radio services, and any combination thereof.

5. The advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of claim 1, further comprising the step of receiving structured data.

6. The advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of claim 5, wherein the structured data is received through a narrow band receiver for a narrow band platform selected from the group consisting of cloud or internet, a mesh network, satellite, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular mobile, dynamic spectrum sharing radio services, and any combination thereof.

7. The advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of claim 1, wherein each of the machine-readable media is selected from the group consisting of magnetic media, punched cards, paper tapes, optical disks, barcodes, magnetic ink characters, and solid state devices.

8. The advanced narrow band traffic controller unit (TCU) of claim 1, wherein the machine-readable medium is one or more solid state devices.

9. An omni-grid system (OGS) designed for narrow band communication engineered to operate off-grid and on-grid comprising:

10. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 9, wherein interfacing unit comprises a third machine-readable medium having instructions stored thereon for execution by a processor to perform a method comprising the steps of: receiving narrow band data and manipulating the narrow band data.

11. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 10, wherein the method further comprises one or more of the steps of: storing the narrow band data, and transmitting the narrow band data.

12. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 9, wherein the interfacing unit comprises a user interface.

13. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 12, wherein the user interface is an adaptive interface governed by the narrow band data platform receiving the narrow band data.

14. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 12, wherein the user interface is designed to facilitate social network interfacing between users.

15. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 9, wherein interfacing unit requires authentication for access.

16. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 9, wherein the OGS may operate on multiple narrow band platforms simultaneously.

17. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 9, wherein the OGS serves as a dynamically relocatable hotspot.

18. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 9, wherein the OGS serves as an internet service provider.

19. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 9, wherein the OGS further comprises a battery power source.

20. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 9, wherein the data is structured data.

21. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 9, wherein the data is unstructured data.

22. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 9, wherein the narrow band receiver is a narrow band receiver for a narrow band platform selected from the group consisting of cloud or internet, a mesh network, satellite, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular mobile, dynamic spectrum sharing radio services, and any combination thereof.

23. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 9, wherein the narrow band broadcast transmitter is a narrow band transmitter for a narrow band platform selected from the group consisting of cloud or internet, a mesh network, satellite, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular mobile, dynamic spectrum sharing radio services, and any combination thereof.

24. The omni-grid system (OGS) of claim 9, wherein the omni-grid system is engineered into a backpack orientation.

Patent History

Patent number: 11272400
Type: Grant
Filed: Aug 20, 2019
Date of Patent: Mar 8, 2022
Patent Publication Number: 20200059826
Assignee: Imcon International Inc
Inventors: Dan Horn, Gregory S. Garson, John R. Loud, Timothy Kelly, Jackin Alix Bien Aime, Mathe Eliel Kasereka, Lee W. McKnight
Application Number: 6/546,208

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