Short Burst Data (SBD) Services

Short Burst Data

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The Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD), a data service, enables value-added applications to send and receive short data transactions of less than 2 KB in periodic time intervals efficiently. It is ideal for remote monitoring applications used for asset tracking, remote telemetry, and pipeline monitoring.

The maximum length of Mobile-Originated SBD message is 1960 bytes, the maximum for Mobile-Terminated SBD messages is 1890 bytes. Global network latency for the delivery of messages ranges from 5 seconds for short messages to 20 seconds for longer ones.

Service Details 

Iridium Short Burst Data Service (SBD) is a service designed for applications to send data messages of a smaller size or with greater frequency than is economically possible with circuit switched data services. The Iridium satellite network enables SBD to be offered on a global basis through a single network point of presence. (Subject to appropriate licensing and regulatory conditions).

SBD is intended for integration into vertical market applications in industries such as Oil & Gas, Rail, Maritime, Aeronautical, Utilities and Government/Military. Iridium does not provide complete solutions, it looks to partner with skilled Value Added Resellers to integrate the required package of hardware, software and SBD Service that form the complete solution for the end customer.

Remote Applications send Mobile Originated SBD (MO-SBD) messages by using an Iridium Transceiver. The application microcontroller or microprocessor communicates with the Transceiver via AT commands over an RS232 connection. Once the application loads the message into the Transceiver and instructs the it to send the message, the message traverses the Iridium satellite network utilizing inter-satellite links to reach the Iridium Gateway. From there the message is transferred to the Internet and onto a Value Added Reseller's host computer system. Here the message is stored in a database for further data processing.

Mobile Terminated SBD (MT-SBD) messages are sent to the Iridium Gateway via the Internet from the Value Added Reseller's host computer system. The maximum length of a MO-SBD message is 1960 bytes. The maximum length of a MT-SBD message is 1890 bytes. Global network transmit latency for delivery of messages ranges from 5 seconds for messages of 70 bytes to approximately 20 seconds for maximum length messages. (Additional latency may occur across the Internet).

Typical applications include:

  • Flight following for aircraft and helicopters 
  • Tracking and messaging for maritime vessels
  • Tracking of mobile assets such as trucks and heavy equipment
  • Monitoring of equipment on oil and gas pipelines
  • Monitoring of equipment of water, gas and electric utility distribution

The basic functionality of Short Burst Data can be viewed below:

Worldwide Tracking and Monitoring

In this global economy, there is a critical need for government and industry to track, monitor and exchange data with remote assets which are often deployed across multiple countries and continents beyond range of terrestrial wireless connections.

Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD) service provides this capability simply and reliably. Iridium’s global, low-latency SBD service provides the ideal solution for monitoring and updating status on everything from containers and trucks to planes and ships.

With Iridium SBD, it’s possible to integrate mobile assets into an organization’s enterprise resource planning and logistics management using compact equipment and a single communication carrier. And, since it is connected to the only truly global mobile satellite communications network, it works anywhere on the planet, with no expensive roaming charges or multiple service agreements. From the North Pole to the South Pole, Iridium SBD delivers everywhere and is backed by unmatched network quality and world-class technical support.

Truly Global Asset Management

You and your customers need to know where your equipment is, what it is doing, and how it can be used more efficiently.

With Iridium, you can stay in touch with your assets around the globe. Iridium SBD solutions give you and your customer’s access to the information you need, when you need it, to make informed decisions.

Real-time data and communications help you monitor and manage assets more efficiently to improve productivity and resale value, enhance safety, and optimize equipment utilization, maintenance and security. At the same time, you can reduce equipment failure, downtime, and ownership and operating costs.

Timely, accurate diagnostic and prognostic information helps maximize and protect investments in heavy equipment, while ensuring hard-working assets works even harder — everywhere on the surface of the planet.

Deployed in Mission Critical Applications

The possibilities are endless.

Iridium SBD solutions are deployed to provide long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) of ships at sea, automatic flight following (AFF) for aircraft in the air, transmitting warnings from tsunami buoys in the open ocean, and even monitoring the safety of individuals when working alone on pipelines on the northern and southern poles.

Growing and Diverse Customer Base

Iridium’s value-added resellers are continually developing and deploying Iridium-enabled data solutions for a wide range of industries, such as oil and gas, transportation and industrial markets.

Iridium’s low-latency SBD links provide near real-time visibility across the organization’s logistics chain. Operations can track and monitor the location of pallets of supplies. Construction firms in remote and potentially dangerous parts of the world can ensure the safety and security of equipment and personnel. Shipping companies and their customers can track and monitor high-value cargos from portal to portal.

Revolution in Scale

With the smallest form factor of any commercial satellite transceiver available today, the Iridium 9603 is ideal for space constrained applications including monitoring, tracking and alarm systems.

The Iridium 9603 combines the global coverage of the Iridium satellite constellation with the low latency of the Iridium SDB service to provide highly reliable communications from pole to pole. At one-fourth the cost and half the footprint of its predecessor, the Iridium 9602, the Iridium 9603 redefines the spatial possibilities of communication devices, delivering significant data capabilities and good value.

The Iridium Core 9523 transceiver supports all Iridium voice and data services through the power of one tiny module, 90% smaller and lighter than the Iridium 9522B. It delivers the capability needed to develop innovative communications devices that help in meeting the needs of under-served markets around the globe.
Deployed in mission critical applications today, Iridium devices are thoroughly field-tested under some of the harshest environments known to man – from the frozen Arctic to equatorial deserts, and from high-altitude aircraft to robotic scientific gliders that submerge deep beneath the sea.

Network Features

  • Only truly global solution
  • Low-latency data links
  • One price globally
  • Single global agreement
  • Optimal for 270 character mobile terminated, 340 character mobile originated messages

User Application 

  • Asset tracking
  • Fleet management
  • Telemetry
  • Pipeline monitoring
  • Oceanographic data
  • Homeland security
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Remote worker safety
  • Network monitoring

Beam is an Iridium Partner for the SBD Services, ask how we can bundle our products and services for a solution to your satellite communication needs.  For enquiries please send an email to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or complete the contact form.