AMR, Automatic meter reading is the technology of automatically collecting data from water meter or energy metering devices (water, gas, electric) and transferring that data to a central database for billing and/or analyzing.

ANPR, Automatic number plate recognition is a mass surveillance method that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates. They can use existing closed-circuit television or road-rule enforcement cameras, or ones specifically designed for the task. They are used by various police forces and as a method of electronic toll collection on pay-per-use roads and cataloging the movements of traffic or individuals.

ATMS, Advanced Traffic Management System field is a primary subfield within the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) domain. The ATMS view is a top-down management perspective that integrates technology primarily to improve the flow of vehicle traffic and improve safety. Real-time traffic data from cameras, speed sensors, etc. flows into a Transportation Management Center (TMC) where it is integrated and processed (e.g. for incident detection), and may result in actions taken (e.g. traffic routing, VMS messages) with the goal of improving traffic flow.

AVL or AVLS, Automatic Vehicle Locating System.  The location of vehicle with this device is determined using GPS, and the transmission mechanism is SMS, GPRS, a satellite or terrestrial radio from the vehicle to a radio receiver.

AVR is a Modified Harvard architecture 8-bit RISC single chip microcontroller (µC) which was developed by Atmel in 1996. The AVR was one of the first microcontroller families to use on-chip flash memory for program storage, as opposed to One-Time Programmable ROM, EPROM, or EEPROM used by other microcontrollers at the time.


BGAN, Broadband Global Area Network is a form of Satellite internet and telephony provided by INMARSAT. The system uses two geostationary satellites with additional satellites planned to be launched in 2007/2008 to increase coverage to global. The system will then cover all parts of the world except for polar regions. Downlink speeds are up to 492kb/s and upload speeds slightly lower at 300-400kb/s but with PEP software or other TCP packet accelerators you can exceed those speeds.

Bluetooth is an industrial specification for wireless personal area networks (PANs). Bluetooth provides a way to connect and exchange information between devices.


Cat 5, Category 5 cable is commonly known as Cat 5 or “Cable and Telephone”, is a twisted pair cable type designed for high signal integrity. Many such cables are unshielded but some are shielded. Category 5 has been superseded by the Category 5e specification. This type of cable is often used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet, and is also used to carry many other signals such as basic voice services, token ring, and ATM (at up to 155 Mbit/s, over short distances).

Cat 6, Category 6 cable is commonly referred to as Cat 6, is a cable standard for Gigabit Ethernet and other network protocols that is backward compatible with the Category 5/5e and Category 3 cable standards. Cat-6 features more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise. The cable standard provides performance of up to 250 MHz and is suitable for 10BASE-T / 100BASE-TX and 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet). It is expected to suit the 10GBASE-T (10Gigabit Ethernet) standard, although with limitations on length if unshielded Cat 6 cable is used.

CCTV, Closed Circuit Television is the use of video cameras to transmit signal to a specific, limited set of monitors. It differs from broadcast television in that the signal is not openly transmitted, though it may employ point to point wireless links. CCTV is often used for surveillance in areas that need monitoring.


A data logger (also datalogger or Data recorder) is an electronic device that records data over time or in relation to location either with a built in instrument or sensor or via external instruments and sensors. Increasingly, but not entirely, they are based on a digital processor (or computer). They generally are small, battery powered, portable, and equipped with a microprocessor, internal memory for data storage, and sensors.

DCS, Data Coding Scheme is a value used in SMSs to indicate the message class.

Decibel, dB is a unit of measure used to express relative difference in power or intensity of sound.

DVR, digital video recorder or personal video recorder (PVR) is a device that records video in a digital format to a disk drive or other memory medium within a device.


EEPROM (also written E2PROM and pronounced e-e-prom or simply e-squared), which stands for Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory, is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices to store small amounts of data that must be saved when power is removed, e.g., calibration tables or device configuration.

Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE), Enhanced GPRS (EGPRS), or IMT Single Carrier (IMT-SC) is a digital mobile phone technology that allows increased data transmission rates and improved data transmission reliability. EDGE is generally classified as 2.75G, although it is part of ITU‘s 3G definition.

ESMR, Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio is using frequency bands originally allocated for two-way dispatch services, companies such as Nextel and Southern LINC have built digital mobile phone services similar to cellular and PCS systems.

ESN, Electronic Serial Number is the unique serial number of a cellular phone that identifies it to the cellular system for the purpose and placing and receiving calls.

Ethernet is a family of frame-based computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs). The name comes from the physical concept of the ether. It defines a number of wiring and signaling standards for the physical layer, through means of network access at the Media Access Control (MAC)/Data Link Layer, and a common addressing format.


FTDIFuture Technology Devices International is a Scottish privately traded semiconductor devicecompany, specializing in Universal Serial Bus technology. It develops, manufactures, and supports devices and their related software drivers for converting RS-232 or TTL serial transmissions to USB signals, in order to allow support for legacy devices with modern computers.

FTS, A Fleet Telematics System or Fleet Tracking System allows the information exchange between a commercial vehicle fleet and their central authority, i.e., the dispatching office. A FTS typically consists of mobile Vehicle Systems (VS) and a stationary Fleet Communication System (FCS). The FCS may be a stand alone application maintained by the motor carrier or an internet service running by the supplier of the system. The FCS usually includes a database in which all vehicle positions and messages are stored.


GPRS, General Packet Radio Service is a packet oriented Mobile Data Service available to users of Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and IS-136 mobile phones. It provides data rates from 56 up to 114 kbit/s.

GPS, The Global Positioning System is the only fully functional Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Utilizing a constellation of at least 24 Medium Earth Orbit satellites that transmit precise microwave signals, the system enables a GPS receiver to determine its location, speed, direction, and time.

GSM, Global System for Mobile communications (GSM: originally from Groupe Spécial Mobile) is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world.


HART Communications Protocol (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer Protocol) is an early implementation of Fieldbus, a digital industrial automation protocol. Its claim to fame is that it can communicate over legacy 4-20 mA analog instrumentation wiring, sharing the pair of wires used by the older system. According to some, due to the huge installed base of 4-20 mA systems throughout the world, the HART Protocol is one of the most popular industrial protocols today.

HMI, Human Machine Interface or user interface is the aggregate of means by which people—the users—interact with the system—a particular machine, device, computer program or other complex tools. The user interface provides means of: Input, allowing the users to manipulate a system. Output, allowing the system to produce the effects of the users’ manipulation.

HVAC (pronounced either “H-V-A-C” or “H-vak“) is an initialism or acronym that stands for “heating, ventilating, and air conditioning“. HVAC is sometimes referred to as climate control and is particularly important in the design of medium to large industrial and office buildings such as skyscrapers and in marine environments such as aquariums, where humidity and temperature must all be closely regulated while maintaining safe and healthy conditions within. In certain regions (e.g., UK) the term “Building Services” is also used, but may also include plumbing and electrical systems. Refrigeration is sometimes added to the field’s abbreviation as HVAC&R or HVACR, or ventilating is dropped as HACR (such as the designation of HACR-rated circuit breakers).

HSPA, High-Speed Packet Access is a collection of mobile telephony protocols that extend and improve the performance of existing UMTS protocols.

HTTP, Hypertext Transfer Protocol is a communications protocol for the transfer of information on the intranet and the World Wide Web. Its original purpose was to provide a way to publish and retrieve hypertextInternet.


iBurst (or HC-SDMA, High Capacity Spatial Division Multiple Access) is a wireless broadband technology developed by ArrayComm. It optimizes the use of its bandwidth with the help of smart antennas. Kyocera is the leading manufacturer of iBurst devices.

Inmarsat provides telephony and data services to users world-wide, via special terminals. An Inmarsat terminal contacts the satellite and communicates to a ground station through the satellite. It provides reliable communications services to a range of governments, aid agencies, media outlets and businesses needing to communicate in remote regions or where there is no reliable terrestrial network. Inmarsat plc is an international telecommunications company founded in 1979, originally as an intergovernmental organization

IoT, The Internet of things is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.

ITS, Intelligent transport systems are advanced applications which, without embodying intelligence as such, aim to provide innovative services relating to different modes of transport and traffic management and enable various users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated, and ‘smarter’ use of transport networks.

An IVMS (In Vehicle Monitoring System) combines the installation of an electronic device in a vehicle, or fleet of vehicles, with purpose-designed computer software at least at one operational base to enable the owner or a third party to track the vehicle’s location, collecting data in the process from the field and deliver it to the base of operation. Modern vehicle tracking systems commonly use GPS technology for locating the vehicle, but other types of automatic vehicle location technology can also be used. Vehicle information can be viewed on electronic maps via the Internet or specialized software.


M2M refers to data communications between machines. M2M is most commonly translated as Machine-to-Machine but has sometimes been translated as Man-to-Machine, Machine-to-Man, Machine-to-Mobile and Mobile-to-Machine. It generally refers to telemetry or telematics that is accomplished using networks, especially public wireless networks.

MCU or µC, microcontroller is a computer-on-a-chip, containing a processor, memory, and input/output functions. It is a microprocessor emphasizing high integration, in contrast to a general-purpose microprocessor (the kind used in a PC). In addition to the usual arithmetic and logic elements of a general purpose microprocessor, the microcontroller integrates additional elements such as read-write memory for data storage, read-only memory for program storage, EEPROM for permanent data storage, peripheral devices, and input/output interfaces. At clock speeds of as little as a few MHz or even lower, microcontrollers often operate at very low speed compared to modern day microprocessors, but this is adequate for typical applications. They consume relatively little power (milliwatts), and will generally have the ability to sleep while waiting for an interesting peripheral event such as a button press to wake them up again to do something.

MDT, mobile data terminal is a computerized device used in police cars, taxicabs, courier vehicles, service trucks, commercial trucking fleets, military logistics, fishing fleets, warehouse inventory control, and emergency vehicles to communicate with a central dispatch office.

MMDS, Multipoint Multichannel Distribution Service is often referred to as ‘wireless cable’ as it is a wireless system used to distribute cable television and other broadband signals to multiple users by way of a single transmitter.

Modbus is a serial communications protocol published by Modicon in 1979 for use with its programmable logic controllers (PLCs). It has become a de facto standard communications protocol in industry, and is now the most commonly available means of connecting industrial electronic devices.


NRW, Non revenue water is water that has been produced and is “lost” before it reaches the customer. Losses can be real losses (through leaks, sometimes also referred to as physical losses) or apparent losses (for example through theft or metering inaccuracies).

The NTCIP, National Transportation Communications for Intelligent Transportation System Protocol is a family of standards designed to achieve interoperability and interchangeability between computers and electronic traffic control equipment from different manufacturers.


OPC, OLE for Process Control which stands for Object-Linking and Embedding (OLE) for Process Control, is the original name for an open standards specification developed in 1996 by an industrial automation industry task force. The standard specifies the communication of real-time plant data between control devices from different manufacturers.


PEPs, Performance Enhancing Proxies are network agents designed to improve the end-to-end performance of some communications protocol such as TCP. PEPs function by breaking the end-to-end connection into multiple connections and using different parameters to transfer data across the different legs. This allows the end systems to run unmodified and can overcome some problems with TCP window sizes on the end systems being set too low for satellite communications.

PLC, programmable logic controller, or programmable controller is a digital computer used for automation of industrial processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines. Unlike general-purpose computers, the PLC is designed for multiple inputs and output arrangements, extended temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact.

PROM, programmable read-only memory or field programmable read-only memory (FPROM) is a form of digital memory where the setting of each bit is locked by a fuse or antifuse. Such PROMs are used to store programs permanently. The key difference from a strict ROM is that the programming is applied after the device is constructed. They are frequently seen in video game consoles, or such products as electronic dictionaries, where PROMs for different languages can be substituted.

PSTN, Public Switched Telephone Network is a formal name for the world-wide telephone network.


RFI, Radio Frequency Interference is an undesired radio signal that interferes with a radio communications signal causing extraneous noise and/or signal dropouts.

RFID, Radio-frequency identification is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders.

RF Noise, undesired radio signals that alters a radio communications signal causing extraneous sounds during transmission and/or reception.

RG-59/U is a specific type of coaxial cable, often used for low-power video and RF signal connections. The cable has a characteristic impedance of 75 ohms.

RISC (pronounced risk), for reduced instruction set computing, represents a CPU design strategy emphasizing the insight that simplified instructions which “do less” may still provide for higher performance if this simplicity can be utilized to make instructions execute very quickly. Many proposals for a “precise” definition have been attempted, however, the term is being slowly replaced by the more descriptive load-store architecture. Well known RISC families include DEC Alpha, ARC, ARM, AVR, MIPS, PA-RISC, Power Architecture (including PowerPC), SuperH, and SPARC.

RTU, Remote Terminal Unit is a microprocessor controlled electronic device which interfaces objects in the physical world to a distributed control system or SCADA system by transmitting telemetry data to the system and/or altering the state of connected objects based on control messages received from the system.


SCADA is the abbreviation for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition. SCADA systems are typically used to perform data collection and control at the supervisory level. Some systems are called SCADA despite only performing data acquisition and not control.

Semantic Web is an evolving extension of the World Wide Web in which the semantics of information and services on the web is defined, making it possible for the web to understand and satisfy the requests of people and machines to use the web content. It derives from W3C director Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the Web as a universal medium for data, information, and knowledge exchange.

SMS, Short Message Service is a communications protocol allowing the interchange of short text messages between mobile telephone devices.

SMSC, Short Message Service Center is a network element in the mobile telephone network which delivers SMS messages.

Subscriber, a cellular phone user.


The TCP, Transmission Control Protocol is one of the core protocols of the Internet protocol suite. TCP provides reliable, in-order delivery of a stream of bytes, making it suitable for applications like file transfer and e-mail. It is so important in the Internet protocol suite that sometimes the entire suite is referred to as “the TCP/IP protocol suite.” TCP is the transport protocol that manages the individual conversations between web servers and web clients. TCP divides the HTTP messages into smaller pieces, called segments, to be sent to the destination client. It is also responsible for controlling the size and rate at which messages are exchanged between the server and the client.

TDMA, Time Division Multiple Access is a digital communication technology used by some carriers to provide PCS service. Other technologies used are CDMA and GSM.

Telematics, The integrated use of telecommunications and informatics, also known as ICT (Information and Communications Technology). More specifically it is the science of sending, receiving and storing information via telecommunication devices.

Telemetry is a technology that allows the remote measurement and reporting of information of interest to the system designer or operator.


A UART, Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter is usually an individual (or part of an) integrated circuit used for serial communications over a computer or peripheral device serial port. UARTs are now commonly included in microcontrollers. A dual UART, or DUART, combines two UARTs into a single chip. Many modern ICs now come with a UART that can also communicate synchronously; these devices are called USARTs (universal synchronous/asynchronous receiver/transmitter).

UMTS, Universal Mobile Telecommunications System is one of the third-generation (3G) cellular technologies, which is also being developed into a 4G technology. Currently, the most common form of UMTS uses W-CDMA as the underlying air interface. It is standardized by the 3GPP, and is the European answer to the ITU IMT-2000 requirements for 3G cellular radio systems. UMTS is sometimes marketed as 3GSM, emphasizing the combination of the 3G nature of the technology and the GSM standard which it was designed to succeed.

UPS, Uninterruptible Power Supply, also known as an Uninterruptible Power Source, Uninterruptible Power System, Continuous Power Supply (CPS) or a battery backup is a device which maintains a continuous supply of electric power to connected equipment by supplying power from a separate source when utility power is not available. There are three distinct types of UPS: off-line, line-interactive and double conversion (also called on-line).


VCR, videocassette recorder (more commonly known in the UK and Ireland as the video recorder), is a type of video tape recorder that uses removable videotape cassettes containing magnetic tape to record audio and video from a television broadcast so it can be played back later. Most VCRs have their own tuner (for direct TV reception) and a programmable timer (for unattended recording of a certain channel at a particular time).

VMS, Variable-message sign. A variable- (also changeable-, electronic-, or dynamic-) message sign, often abbreviated VMS, CMS, or DMS, and in the UK known as a matrix sign, is an electronic traffic sign often used on roadways to give travelers information about special events. Such signs warn of traffic congestion, accidents, incidents, roadwork zones, or speed limits on a specific highway segment. In urban areas, VMS are used within parking guidance and information systems to guide drivers to available car parking spaces. They may also ask vehicles to take alternative routes, limit travel speed, warn of duration and location of the incidents or just inform of the traffic conditions.

VPN, virtual private network is a computer network in which some of the links between nodes are carried by open connections or virtual circuits in some larger network (e.g., the Internet) instead of by physical wires. The link-layer protocols of the virtual network are said to be tunneled through the larger network when this is the case. One common application is secure communications through the public Internet, but a VPN need not have explicit security features, such as authentication or content encryption. VPNs, for example, can be used to separate the traffic of different user communities over an underlying network with strong security features.

VSAT, Very Small Aperture Terminal is a two-way satellite ground station with a dish antenna that is smaller than 3 meters (most VSAT antennas range from 75 cm to 1.2 m). VSAT data rates typically range from narrowband up to 4 Mbit/s. VSATs access satellites in geosynchronous orbit to relay data from small remote earth stations (terminals) to other terminals (in mesh configurations) or master earth station “hubs” (in star configurations).


WAP, Wireless Application Protocol is a global protocol used in many newer wireless devices that allows the user to view and interact with data services. Generally used as a means to view Internet web pages using the limited transmission capacity and small display screens of portable wireless devices.

WCDMA, Wideband CDMA is a 3G wireless communications standard evolved from CDMA. The standard, often called UMTS, uses wider 5 MHz channels(vs. 1.25 MHz for CDMA) for increased voice traffic capacity and peak data rates of 384 kbps.

Wibree is a digital radio technology (intended to become an open standard of wireless communications) designed for ultra low power consumption (button cell batteries) within a short range (10 meters / 30 ft) based around low-cost transceiver microchips in each device.

WiBro (Wireless Broadband) is a wireless broadband Internet technology being developed by the South Korean telecoms industry. WiBro is the South Korean service name for IEEE 802.16e (mobile WiMAX) international standard.

Wi-Fi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance that may be used with certified products that belong to a class of wireless local area network (WLAN) devices based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. Because of the close relationship with its underlying standard, the term Wi-Fi is often used as a synonym for IEEE 802.11 technology.

WiMAX, the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a telecommunications technology aimed at providing wireless data over long distances in a variety of ways, from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular type access. It is based on the IEEE 802.16 standard, which is also called WirelessMAN.

WLL, Wireless Local Loop is a wireless system meant to bypass a local landline telephone system. A home or businesses phone system is connected to the public network by a wireless carrier instead of by the traditional local phone company.

WSN, wireless sensor network is a wireless network consisting of spatially distributed autonomous devices using sensors to cooperatively monitor physical or environmental conditions, such as temperature, sound, vibration, pressure, motion or pollutants, at different locations.[1][2] The development of wireless sensor networks was originally motivated by military applications such as battlefield surveillance. However, wireless sensor networks are now used in many industrial and civilian application areas, including industrial process monitoring and control, machine health monitoring, environment and habitat monitoring, healthcare applications, home automation, and traffic control.


XML, Extensible Markup Language is a general-purpose specification for creating custom markup languages. It is classified as an extensible language because it allows its users to define their own elements. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the sharing of structured data across different information systems, particularly via the Internet.


ZigBee is the name of a specification for a suite of high level communication protocols using small, low-power digital radios based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard for wireless personal area networks (WPANs).

Comments are closed.