SkyTel: The is a recent-years example of a major transport location and tracking company use or planned use of MBC

: their patent application is attached at the end, below, and describes the values of MBC for wide-area and global asset-container secure tracking. - Nov 2010.

®

A Comprehensive Solution for Global In-Transit Asset Visibility
Presented to:

Aerospace Auto-ID Programme Founders EXPO

SkyTel: Globaltrack's corporate owner is: Systems Planning Corporation. See-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Planning_Corporation

Joe McKinney 20 June, 2007
1

Agenda
• Introduction • SPC history in Auto-ID • The GlobalTrak ® Asset Monitoring Solution • Commercial Market Drivers and Security Initiatives • Questions?

2

SPC – Over 37 Years Of Excellence
• Corporate Overview
– Advanced technology innovator – Scientific, engineering, technical assistance – Systems engineering and refining total business process – Systems development, acquisition, test and evaluation – World class radar development – 300 employees, $60 million annual sales
1000 Wilson •

Selected areas of technical expertise
– Radar Physics – Homeland Security – Communications & Information Solutions – Intelligence Support & Analysis – Security Design and Integration – TriData: Fire & Emergency Services Consulting – Asset Visibility and Supply Chain Management/Security--GlobalTrak
3

One Virginia Square

Advertisement appearing in the April, 2007 issue of Inbound Logistics

What will happen if you lose this load? Will you know proactively, or must you wait for shipment unloading?

Do you know the condition of it and of it’s contents? Has the container remained sealed? Is the temperature staying in the proper range? Have other conditions been 4 meeting parameters? Have you been notified? Has action been taken?

GlobalTrak: A Historical Perspective
SPC Initiatives in Container Monitoring and Security

Events of September 11th 2001

V3 GlobalTrak Worldwide Deployment Operation Safe Commerce Trials
G rangem outh Vancouver, BC Everett, WA Kent, WA M innesota Fr e eport ,ME Halifax Wis consin Boston O ak land, CA Chica go A urora, CO Carson,CA M ultiple Destinations Felxstow e i R un cor n Ha mbur g Barby Yokohama Tok yo N agoy a Ka a r chi G ua ngz hou Gu andongTaiwan

First V1 Hardware Alpha Test GlobalTrak is Conceived as Global Container Security System (GCSS),

V2 Container Automated Sensor Kit Development
H on K ong g Bangkok Tanjung Pel pas e Singapore

B usa n

SeaTac

Tacoma /Se attle

Los Angeles/ Lon g Beach

NY&NJ e y New Je rs N e w Jersey

N e w York/ New York /

Istanbul

M anz an illo M anilla San Jose

Santos

Rio de Jan eiro

Durban

V3 Development And Field Trials

9/11/01

9/13/01

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

SPC was among the first working towards container security and monitoring monitoring
5

GlobalTrak® System Architecture
Zigbee Zigbee WLAN WLAN

6

Highest communications availability in the industry • 3 modes of 2-way communication
– Satellite - Integrated Orbcomm Modem
• Real-time & global coverage

Asset Monitoring Unit (AMU)

– Cellular - Quad-band GSM
• Global SMS and GPRS

– WLAN – Ad-Hoc ZigBee Wireless
• 1500 ft range, peer connectivity • Remote sensors

• • • • • • •

No additional infrastructure required Total weight 5 lbs including batteries Environmentally sealed for operation from – 40C to + 85C Configurable messaging levels for up to 4 year battery life Ultra low power/computation powerhouse Freescale u-Proc (885 MIPS) and Blackfin DSP (1200 MIPS) Multiple mounting options
7

Asset Monitoring Unit (AMU)
Open Sensor Architecture

• Built-in Sensors
– Global positioning (location, speed, direction) – Door position – Temperature – Acoustics – Light source – Tampering

Optional Sensors:
– RFID – Shock and Impact – Infrared – Vibration – Chem/Bio – Radiation – EJ Brooks Wireless Door Seal – Wireless Barcode Reader – Customer Specific

8

GlobalTrak Information Management Bureau (IMB)
STAKEHOLDERS

• • • • • • • • •

Web Based Java Based Asset Management Mapping and Geozoning Document centric Complex Business Rules Open and scalable architecture Event driven Flexible and adaptable interfaces to legacy systems (XML, SMS, SAP, Excel)

9

GlobalTrak Information Management Bureau (IMB)
- XML, CSV, SAP, Excel -Examples: -PO -BOL -ASN -Manifest -Alarms -Associations -Data Privacy -Publication

Documents

Rules

Events

- Location - Timestamp

- Sensor Data - Door State
10

GlobalTrak® is an Integrated “Sense and Respond Solution
Legacy or Other
EDI, XML, ASCII, Excel, Access, JMS, Email, SMS, etc.
Intelligent Business Document Exchange
Electronic Document From User Electronic Document To User

Business Rules

The IMB

Receptionist

Publisher

®
Project Manager Agent
Intelligent Document Agent (Information source) Business Application Agent (Role based)

Event Manager

The AMU or RFID or Bar Code Reader

Signal Collector

GlobalTrak® is powered by VI 6D® from VI Agents
11

Visibility to the Item Level via Integrated Auto-ID
! In-Transit Visibility—Smart Asset Tracking—a form of Auto-ID which complements item, case, and pallet level RFID tags ! In-Transit Visibility directly impacts daily operations, providing real-time knowledge and proactively managing !cargo location, cargo condition, and operational response

The Integrated Solution:
• Purchase Order 1234 • Trailer • Pallet • Case • Item • Item • Item • Case • Case • Pallet • Trailer • Case • Case • Trailer • Pallet • Case • Item
12

! Container or Trailer tagged with SPC’s GlobalTrak® , ! Contents are tagged with required labels: RFID, barcode, and/or human readable

Value Network—Multiple Participants
Discovery Service / ONS Value Network A-B-’N’ Value Network A-B-C Org. A
Org. A Documents

Each Org. (A-C) has its own secure workspace within
GlobalTrak®

Org. B
Org. B Documents

Org. C
Org. C Documents

Org. A Events

Org. A Events

Org. A Events

Information is shared via information published to the particular Value Network Data managed at the element

VI SixD™ Managed Services Platform

13

Tracking barges from Portland, OR, USA to Lewiston, ID, USA and back: The river cliffs made having both cell and satellite communications essential. Red and purple Icons are cellular messages. Green and blue are satellite messages.
14

GlobalTrak Information Management Bureau (IMB)
Cell Door Event Satellite

15

GlobalTrak - Intellectual Property Strategy
• SPC made early strategic decision to develop core technology lead and to pursue an aggressive Intellectual Property protection program Broad technology window
– Provides product edge – Prevents-raises the bar of difficulty for existing competitors from selling system in this marketplace – Increases entry barriers for new competition – Provides licensing revenue stream
See page 18 below

Patents
– 1 Granted – 10 Patents pending – 2 Provisionals in process

16

GlobalTrak - Intellectual Property Strategy
• Granted (July 2006):
– US Patent #7,098,784 Core Container Monitoring System – very broad patent for container monitoring system using sensors, data fusion, and communication channels

Patent Pending
– A Data Fusion Center (GlobalTrak IMB) that collects data from a multitude of sensor and units and performs intelligent processing of the data to determine the occurrence of complex events. – Using wireless ad-hoc networks communications in the GlobalTrak system to allow containers to communicate directly with each other as part of a dynamically assigned network to share common assets and information. – An flock algorithm and system tracking methodology for containers together being transported in groups or lots where containers “watch” each other. – A method and system for allowing various sensors to be used in the GlobalTrak system through an open architecture sensor design – analogous to Windows XP automatically recognizing and accepting peripherals such as a printer or mouse into the system.

17

GlobalTrak - Intellectual Property Strategy
• Patent Pending (continued)
SkyTel: the Meteor Burst Communications- related patent application is attached below.

– A distributed processing architecture where each computing element of the GlobalTrak system forms an aggregate massively parallel computer. – A fully integrated wireless and satellite antenna actually into the wall of roof of the container to increase performance, reduce cost, and make it stealthier. – A fully integrated solar panel using a special spray film coating on the wall or roof of the container to power and recharge the GlobalTrak system batteries. – A Meteor Burst communication channel to operate the GlobalTrak system which would require no wireless towers or satellites, but exploits communication properties naturally present in the earth’s atmosphere. – Low cost CCD devices for a visible and infrared image processing to detect and record intrusions and security violations, monitoring contents of a container, and thermal profiling to detect things such as living persons or WMDs. – Integrating the entire GlobalTrak unit into the walls of the container “G-Wall” , including electronics, sensors, and power systems. We expect this to be the future trend for all smart containers.

2 other provisional patents in process
18

Embracing Regulatory Trends
• • • • Added security will facilitate supply chain speed, efficiency resulting in cost benefits Take on CBP and C-TPAT requirements as partners Turn the national security information requirements into a management tool for your international supply chain Initial focus on most penetrable market segments
– Reefers – Pharmaceuticals – Chemicals and HAZMAT – Rail – Other high value cargo

Supply chain efficiency and security become a partnership
19

Supply Chain Management Benefits
• Companies using SCM vs. no SCM
– 2X as likely to achieve 97% on time and complete delivery – 3X more likely to have faster delivery cycles – 13.6 day reduction in Days Payable Outstanding (DPOs) – 20-30% reduction in inventory – 2X more likely to increase market share

• SCM is growing
– 52% companies will spend more in 2007 than 2006 – 43% will spend more than $500K – 55% have SCM as #1 priority

Source: Aberdeen Group, 2007
20

Quantitative Benefits of Supply Chain Management
Benefit per Container Trip Increased manufacturing uptime Reduced lead-time variance Reduced out-of-stocks Reduced inventory Reduced labor and fees Increased container security Prevention of lost containers Totals % 16 17 30 31 3 2 1 100 $ 184.00 195.50 345.00 356.50 34.50 23.00 11.50 $1,150
2%1% 3%2%1% 16% 31% 17% 30%

Reference: Smart Boxes, ATKearney®, pub. Copyright 2005
21

Relative Benefits of Supply Chain Management
More efficient customs clearance: Reduction in cargo inspections Improved product safety: Reduction in theft Improved inventory management: Reduction in excess inventory
60% 50% 40% 30%

48% 38%

50%

Improved supply chain visibility: Increased access to data Resilience: Improvement in reported on-time shipping to customers Speed Improvements: Reduction in transit time Higher customer satisfaction: reduction in customer attrition

30%
20% 10% 0%

29%

25%

15%

Reference: Smart Boxes, ATKearney®, pub. Copyright 2005
22

GlobalTrak Applications
! Current portfolio
" Several Global Pharmaceutical firms " Major US inland barge operator " US importer of retail goods " Ocean-going container shipping line " Customs Agency overseas (Middle East) " Global Third Party Logistics Provider (3PL) " Major US defense sector supplier " Several major US Railroads

23

Summary - Market
• The container/reefer tracking and monitoring market is gaining significant momentum based on:
– Multiple studies indicate strong and rapid return-on-investment for increasing supply chain efficiency, cargo condition monitoring, and enhancing cargo quality – Carriers and container/reefer manufacturers recognize the ubiquitous future of tracking and monitoring in supply chain management and are embracing this concept into their strategic plans – Regulatory trends and security initiatives such as Safe Port Act, C-TPAT and 10+2 are coming and tracking technology will play a strong role with in carriers meeting and embracing these requirements – Reefer control, remote diagnostics, and enhanced maintenance offers significant advantages to carriers who are current “flying blind”
24

Initiative: Container Physics Research Forum
Container Physics Research Forum (CPRF)
Government Industry Education

• • •

Problem: Embryonic market, technology adoption barriers, and slow pace of regulation has inhibited much of the core research related to solving container security problems Solution: Pool resources Charter:
– Establish priorities in core research areas related to container security and supply chain management – Foster collaboration between government, industry, and education – Share resources and technology – Offer a single voice to community – Contribute to and drive standards
25

Thank-you for your time attention and input
Joe McKinney VP Business Development GlobalTrak System Planning Corporation Arlington, VA, USA +1.703.351.8284 (office) +1.703.338.9041 (mobile) jmckinney@sysplan.com

26

At the time of this upload, the website of this company was not operating. For a description see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Planning_Corporation

United States 1 2 ) Patent Application Publication
(19)

(10) (43)

Meyers et al.
(54)
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR USING METEOR BURST COMUNICATIONS IN A CONTAINER TRACKING SYSTEM

pub. NO.:US 2007/0115114 A1 Pub. Date: May 24,2007
Related U.S. Application Data

(60) Provisional application No. 601735,886, filed on Nov. 14, 2005.
Publication Classification

(75) Inventors: Richard C. Meyers, Arlington, VA (US); Roy Smith, Arlington, VA (US) Correspondence Address: Baker & Daniels LLP Ste.700 805 15th Street, N.W. suite 700 Washington, DC 20005 (US) (73) Assignee: System Planning Corporation, Arlington. VA (21) Appl. No.: (22) Filed:
111598,825 Nov. 14, 2006

(51) Int. Cl. GOSB 1/08 H04B 7/185 GOSB 13/08 (52) U.S. Cl. ................ (57)

(2006.01) (2006.01) (2006.01) 3401539.13; 3401545.6; 455112.1

ABSTRACT

A system and method for communications between a plurality of shipping containers and a central monitoring station using a meteor burst communication method is provided. The system may also be used as a redundancy scheme as a backup communications device for a primary satellite or cellular channel. The channel also uses an error protection protocol, and proposes a method to conserve battery power for the system.

Central Monitoring Station
1200

-

.-

Remote Container

1200

.

SkyTel: Not discussed in this patent application is delivery by MBC of N-RTK correction data for GPS-GNSS integrated with the radios on the containers (the combination Meteor Burst Comm/ terrestrial comm/ satellite comm multi-mode radios). With said N-RTK correction data (and N-RTK equipped GPS-GNSS receivers and engines) the containers location can be precisely tracked, far more accurately than with GPS-GNSS without the correction data. High Accuracy Location ("HALO") adds substantial additional security for shipping containers (this patent assignee company is seeking secure tracking). See the SkyTel HALO collection on SCRIBD.

Patent Application Publication May 24,2007 Sheet 2 of 3

US 2007/0115114 A1

May 24,2007

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR USING METEOR BURST COMUNICATIONS IN A CONTAINER TRACKING SYSTEM
CLAIM OF PRIORITY [0001] The present invention claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 601735,886, filed Nov. 14, 2005. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION [0002] 1. Field of the Invention

have coverage gaps which do not allow communications in these areas. In addition, where satellite coverage is available and a clear look angle to the satellite is provided, it is often quite expensive to lease satellite transponder capacity which can render these types of systems economically impractical, especially when more than a few messages are sent per day. [0009] In these cases an alternative communication method can be used which can communicate over the horizon and long distances know as meteor burst communications. Meteor burst communication was discovered roughly 50 years ago initially for military communications use. It uses the millions of particles, tiny "meteors" 1 gram or larger, that bum up in the atmosphere 50 to 75 miles above the earth as they enter the earth's gravitational field. These tiny particles are present for a short period of time and create ion paths, and the particle and resultant path may be used to relay radio signals via scattering effects back to the earth a similar manner that a conventional satellite would. Meteor burst allows communication to occur between sites up to 1200 miles away without any other terrestrial or satellite based infrastructure. Once a transmission is made, the remote station data is usually checked and an acknowledgment message is sent over the same path and the central hub station. The entire transmission protocol usually occurs in less than 100 ms. While a reliable path is not always available when the data is first ready to be transmitted, statistical measurement and atmospheric models have demonstrated that meteor burst can be extremely reliable. [0010] In the case of container security, it would be highly advantageous for a communications system to avoid reliance on foreign cellular networks or public use satellite systems. In addition, the cost benefits of avoiding a recurring satellite space segment or cellular network usage charge could be quite significant in large numbers. [0011] Thus, a solution is needed that provides a safe and reliable alternative method of communication using meteor burst communication techniaues when the cellular and satellite communication are not practical or available. DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART [0012] Acontainer security system as described by System Planning Corporation (SPC) (U.S. Pat. No. 7,098,784) herein referred to as "the SPC Invention", performs many of the functions to monitor containers, their content, and to detect tampering within a container during transit. This is accomplished through a device which is located on a container and performs multiple functions. Some of these functions may include controlling various sensors, collecting the data from these sensors and transmitting this data back to a central monitoring station. The central monitoring stations may also send commands and information to individual containers equipment with this device. [0013] To enable information to be transmitted to and from the container, there are several communications subsystems including a satellite or cellular communications device, or both. The system utilizes the satellite or cellular communications channel to communicate and send status and alarms to a central monitoring station, as well as relay information collected from the sensors, location, and other information related to the container back to a central monitoring station located in a different geographical area, in most cases some distance away.

[0003] The present invention relates generally to container security and supply chain management and, more particularly, to the communications systems used by a shipping container security system. [0004] 2. Background of the Invention

[0005] In today's security conscious transportation environment, there is a strong need to cost-effectively and accurately monitor the contents of containerized shipments. This need exists both in the United States and abroad. [0006] Despite the strong need, until recently few solutions, if any, have been able to provide the protection and accuracy needed to suit the transportation industry and the government agencies charged with monitoring shipments. This lack of an acceptable solution is due to many factors which complicate interstate and international shipping. Shipping containers are used to transport most of the commerce entering, leaving, and transiting or moving within the United States. It is estimated that there are over 6 million containers moving in global commerce. Shipping containers have revolutionized the transportation of goods by greatly reducing the number of times goods must be loaded and unloaded during transport. However, at the same time, this same advantage has created a major problem in that it is very difficult to monitor and track the contents of each container during transport. [0007] Beyond their basic construction, monitoring the content of shipping containers is also difficult because these containers are carried through numerous transit points and depots all over the world and it is impractical to stop and check the contents of each container individually at each point of transit. Dealing with this problem, the U.S. Customs Service estimates it can inspect just 5% of the 6 million containers entering and reentering the U.S. each year. Accordingly, agencies such as the United States Customs Service are seeking improved ways to achieve cargo container security and integrity upon arrival at the ports of entry of the United States. [0008] A container tracking system must be able to monitor the location, contents or bill of lading, and the data from any number of sensors to detect tampering or compromise of any given container. In order to accomplish this, each container in the system may be equipped with a mechanism to collect, analyze, and communicate this data to a central collection and processing location. However, the communication of this data over long distances via wireless methods is often problematic using conventional methods due to the lack of existing infrastructure such as cellular towers and even in some cases satellite coverage. For example, even some of the largest mobile satellite communication systems

This data cannot be fully correct: if 6 mil in world, cannot be 6 mil in US. The Wiki article says 18 million in world in 2005. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/ Containerization

May 24,2007

[0014] In some cases the satellite or cellular communications channel as described in the above invention by SPC is not capable of providing reliable communications. This may occur for the satellite mode when a container does not have a direct line of sight to an overhead satellite, or a there is some obstruction where the satellite link cannot be closed. [0015] On the cellular side, this may also occur because of weak or no radio frequency signals at all, if a particular container may be or out of range of a cellular tower or base station. [0016] The limitation of this and other inventions is that they rely on existing infrastructure for critical communications. In many cases this infrastructure being cellular towers, or satellites with proper coverage may not be available and the system will not work. In addition, due to the sensitivity and critical nature of the information sent over this system, it may not always be preferable to use foreign satellite or cellular networks for reasons of security. Finally, service fees especially for satellite can significantly increase the cost of operation, especially when more than a few messages are sent per day. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0017] To address the problem and limitations noted above, a system which can provide an alternative communications path over long distances from any given container to the central monitoring station is provided. [0018] The preferred embodiments of this invention include a meteor burst transmitter and receiver used in a container monitoring and security system application. [0019] Meteor burst communications is a technique that allows communications over long distances without the need for orbiting satellites or other wireless infrastructure. This technique exploits natural phenomena of small particles entering the earth's atmosphere and creating an ionized path as a reflective means for transmitted signals. Also since no equipment has to be placed in orbit, it is not susceptible to satellite failure, satellite ephemeris and orbit corrections, and conventional/nuclear war side-effects. [0020] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate various embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0021] FIG. 1 shows a functional configuration of the container monitoring system using the meteor burst application. [0022] FIG. 2 shows the container monitoring system using the meteor burst application in a relay mode. [0023] FIG. 3 shows a method for saving power in the container monitoring system using the meteor burst. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS [0024] The present invention provides a unique system for providing more robust communications for systems which monitor and report environmental information regarding the status of a plurality of shipping containers.

[0025] Throughout this specification, preferred embodiments of the invention are described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the embodiments, various examples and illustrative embodiments are provided. It should be understood that these embodiments and examples are provided purely for purposes of illustration. The present invention is limited solely by the claims appended hereto. [0026] Since embodiments of the present invention comprise using meteor burst communications in the container security application as opposed to the communications technique itself, theory and implementation specifics of meteor burst are not described in detail herein. Examples of suitable implementation techniques may be found for example in the text "Meteor Burst Communications: Theory and Practice" by Donald L. Schilling. [0027] With reference now to FIG. 1, and for the purposes of explanation, tiny particles which form a meteor field 104, enter the area of the earth's atmosphere approximately, but not limited to an altitude of between 50 and 75 miles, and result in the temporary ability for radio signals to transmitted in the direction of this field be scattered back toward earth. This phenomenon is known as meteor burst and is more clearly described in the noted reference of Schilling. The meteor burst communications device consist of the transmitter 101 and a complementary receiver 103. In a given a valid time interval when the meteor field path may allow a valid communications path, a central monitoring station 102 using the meteor burst communication method, may transmit radio frequency signals to a container 106, and receive signals sent from the container 106. In the same time interval that container 106 may transmit and use this path, other containers in the monitoring network may also transmit and receive radio frequency signals to and from the central monitoring station 102. [0028] As an alternative, the meteor burst communications system in the preset invention may also be used as a secondary or backup channel, providing redundancy to a primary conventional satellite or cellular communications device. [0029] The transmission range of the meteor burst communication technique is limited to a distance of approximately 1200 statute miles. In some cases this distance may not be sufficient to reach the central monitoring station. For these cases a system may be used, wherein the transmission from any given container is relayed though either another container in range, or through dedicated relay station. [0030] As shown in FIG. 2, a central monitoring station 202 transmits a message to a container 206, which in turn relays this message to a container 208 which is the final destination. FIG. 2 additionally illustrates implementation of a meteor field 204. In the displayed embodiment, the central monitoring station 202 is illustrated as being located 1200 miles from the container 206 and the container 208 is illustrated as being located 1200 miles from the container 206. [0031] Since meteor burst communications is based on natural phenomena which occur at somewhat random times, it is possible that complete messages may not be received during the short transmission windows when the phenomena occurs. As such, a preferred embodiment of the present

SkyTel notes: as this application notes, the Meter Burst Communications technology and system architecture, error protection and other aspects described are within the existing art. SkyTel does not comment on the merits of this claim for a patent for this application of MBC to shipping container tracking, but include this as an example of the value of MBC for the majority of the worlds goods transport (other than bulk goods like grains, coal, etc., the vast majority of goods transport is by these cargo containers. See, e.g. The Wiki article: http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Containerization -- "Today, approximately 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide moves by containers stacked on transport ships...."

May 24,2007

invention may use a method for providing error protection, wherein, an error detection and correction protocol may be used to verify that the transmissions using the meteor burst communication technique in a container security application are successful. Since embodiments of the vresent invention comprise using error protection methods for meteor burst communications in the container security application, the detailed theory and implementation specifics of said error protocols are not described in detail herein. While there are many variations of error protection techniques, at the most basic level a simple message acknowledgement scheme would suffice. Examples of suitable implementation techniques may be found for example in the reference of Schilling noted in the preceding paragraph as well. [0032] A preferred embodiment of this present invention proposes a method to conserve power wherein the meteor burst communications may be performed at predefined periodic intervals, or in accordance with another selective transmission algorithm or technique, as to conserve battery life of the wireless and sensor equipment. [0033] As shown in FIG. 3, a power saving method may maintain the containers, such as those containers shown in FIG. 2, in a low power meteor burst receive only mode, as illustrated at 302, listening for continuous transmission attempts from the central monitoring station. Only in 304, when such signal may be received from the central monitoring station, a protocol may be initiated at 306 on the container to turn on the higher power transmitter circuitry and complete the transmission at 308. The container may wait for an acknowledgement message back from the central monitoring station to assure that the transmission was successful. If this message is not received, the process may be repeated a predetermined number of "n" times, after which the container may return to a receive only mode at 302 waiting for the central monitoring station. What is claimed is: 1. A system for providing robust communications for a container monitoring system for a plurality of containers comprising: a central monitoring station controlling a container monitoring and security network which sends and receives messages to and from a plurality of containers being monitored in the network; a meteor burst communications device communications device associated with each container:

a control element which controls the meteor burst channel and data handling. 2. The system of claim 1, wherein the meteor burst communications device comprises a communications device including a meteor burst transmitter element and a complementary meteor burst receiver element located on each container, capable of transmitting data and messages to a central monitoring station, and receiving data and messages from said central monitoring station. 3. The system of claim 1, wherein the meteor burst communications device comprises a redundancy communications channel, as a backup communications channel to a satellite, cellular, or other wireless communications link. 4. The system of claim 1, wherein the meteor burst communications device comprises an aggregate relay station, wherein a meteor burst relay station sends and receives information from a group of containers and relays said information to another relay station or to a central monitoring station. 5. The system of claim 4, wherein the meteor burst relay station is another container in the monitoring network supporting the relay function. 6. A method for improving performance in a meteor burst communication system, the method comprising: monitoring media burst communication transmissions in a container security application; and implementing an error detection and correction protocol to verify that the transmissions using the meteor burst communication technique in the container security application are successful. 7. A method for conserving power in a container security system, the container security system including a plurality of sensors having wireless and sensor equipment, the method comprising: Controlling performance of meteor burst communications in the container security system in accordance with a selective transmission technique, as to conserve battery life of the wireless and sensor equipment. 8. The method of claim 7, further comprising maintaining the containers in a low power meteor burst receive only mode listening for continuous transmission attempts from the central monitoring station, and only when a signal is received from the central monitoring station, initiating a protocol on said container to turn on the higher power transmitter circuitry and complete the transmission.

* * * * *