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Critical Infrastructure Monitoring with Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Services

Resource Type
Use Case
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"Critical infrastructure monitoring using Hughes LEO broadband services offers enterprises best-in-class, full-service capabilities to ensure that essential operations are always up and running. The Hughes solution can be tailored to meet specific business needs while helping reduce the dollars and labor dedicated to managing the monitoring solution."

A pipeline operator transports oil from remote production fields across vast distances to refineries on the coasts. Across the operator’s system are hundreds of critical junctures, often in remote and hard to reach places, where operations must be monitored 24x7. With valuable assets under management, any interruption can cost millions of dollars; constant monitoring ensures the continuous flow of oil and that deliveries arrive at the intended destination on time.


The pipeline operator relied on a monitoring system comprising a variety of services, such as wireless, geostationary (GEO) satellite and wired Internet. Each technology provided coverage where it is was available, resulting in a patchwork network. While this setup met the company’s basic needs, it resulted in a clumsy management experience. Integrating the range of hardware and software solutions compounded expense and labor to keep the system up and running.

Hughes Solution

After evaluating a variety of broadband monitoring options, the pipeline operator selected an enterprise-grade Hughes solution with end-to-end LEO satellite connectivity. This provides the operator coverage of the entire pipeline network – from production fields to refineries – with a single-source solution that offers reliability and security.

With a managed LEO broadband implementation, the operator achieves its business objectives:

  • Low-latency broadband delivers consistent levels of service to every point on the network with the ability to easily add new coverage points in even the most remote locations;
  • 24x7 monitoring of operations enables the operator to maintain constant tabs on flow control and direction; 
  • The resilient network minimizes service loss due to terrestrial issues such as circuit cuts or area-wide power outages;
  • Anomaly detection provides immediate notification in the event of oil leaks or flow interruption anywhere along the path of critical infrastructure; and
  • Network back-up with GEO satellite adds another layer of redundancy. 

The pipeline operator can assure its customers that the flow of oil will be uninterrupted and arrive on time, while meeting environmental compliance standards. In the event of an anomaly, the operator receives quick notification of the problem and its location, enabling faster response and reducing potential downtime.

Hughes Technology

Hughes LEO Broadband offers a single-provider solution for critical infrastructure monitoring as well as the ability to integrate LEO services with the Hughes broader portfolio of connectivity solutions to provide additional services and backup capabilities as needed. Benefits include:

  • Low-data-rate continual monitoring as well as high-performance, enterprise-grade network connection across the entire infrastructure;
  • Real-time monitoring of operations using low-latency broadband connectivity; 
  • As few or as many monitoring points as needed along the pipeline infrastructure;
  • Ability to quickly and easily add new locations via solar-powered, small form factor hardware, reducing the number of maintenance trips needed per site; and
  • Guaranteed service levels, with specific data allowances and download/upload speeds to meet business requirements.