System and method for managing remotely and distantly located assets

  • US 7,165,040 B2
  • Filed: 04/28/2003
  • Issued: 01/16/2007
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/19/1999
  • Status: Expired due to Term
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First Claim
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1. A system, comprising:

  • a central processing node for monitoring mobile asset operations, the central processing node receiving mobile asset related operational data over at least one wireless communication link;

    a first mobile asset monitor for collecting mobile asset related operational data from a first mobile asset;

    a first wireless communication device associated with the first mobile asset monitor for wirelessly communicating with the central processing node over the at least one wireless communication link;

    one or more second mobile asset monitors for collecting mobile asset related operational data from one or more second mobile assets;

    one or more second wireless communication devices, each of the one or more second wireless communication devices being associated with one of the one or more second mobile assets for wirelessly communicating with the first wireless communication device and the central processing node over the at least one wireless communication link; and

    a first mobile asset processing device for;

    attempting to establish a direct communication link between the first wireless communication device and the central processing node over the at least one wireless communication link;

    if a direct communication link was established between the first wireless communication device and the central processing node, transmitting the collected mobile asset related operational data directly to the central processing node;

    if a direct communication link was not established between the first wireless communication device and the central processing node, then establishing an indirect communication link between the first wireless communication device and the central processing node through at least one of the one or more second wireless communication devices;

    if the indirect communication link was established between the first wireless communication device and the central processing node, transmitting the collected mobile asset related operational data indirectly to the central processing node via the indirect communication link; and

    supporting indirect communications between one or more of the second wireless communications devices and the central processing node by receiving mobile asset related operational data from the one or more second wireless communications devices and transmitting the received mobile asset related operational data to the central processing node, either directly or indirectly, as a communications intermediary between one or more of the second wireless communications devices and the central processing node.

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