Cost-effective, ubiquitous global Satellite IoT (SatIoT) is enabling the next generation of innovation, from tracking turtles to monitoring temperatures in the world’s most remote regions, allowing governments and organizations to secure a greener future. As Laurent Vieira de Mello, COO, Astrocast explains, 2022 marks the start of a new era of climate change understanding and evidence-based, positive environmental change.
Practical solutions to the challenges created by climate change and environmental devastation are being developed on a daily basis, often involving global innovation and cooperation. But the clock is ticking, and the world needs a way to accelerate the most promising opportunities – not only for climate change. Farmers are facing growing demands to feed a growing population while also scaling back on pesticides and reducing the need to medicate cattle. Around the world, organizations are tasked with addressing the escalating volume of plastic in our oceans.
Following the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26, which was 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference), global collaboration is increasing. For example, within the Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA), more than 90 organizations are collaborating to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities on the frontline of climate change. This work is increasingly data driven, as Jesse De Maria Kinney, Head of Secretariat for ARA explained: “Climate adaptation requires evidence-based solutions that are tailored to local contexts.”
Achieving this vital evidence requires understanding—and that means unprecedented levels of tracking, monitoring, and measurement across the world. IoT is undoubtedly set to play a key role both in understanding the impact of climate and environmental change, and in determining the value of possible solutions.
A GLOBAL NETWORK
Today, only 15% of the planet is covered by affordable, accessible IoT connectivity and the alternative, SatIoT, has come at a price point that has been prohibitive for either widespread environmental research or speculative remediation experiments. Now, however, a new generation of cost-effective SatIoT solutions are transforming the business case and unleashing compelling new activity across the world.
A reliable, affordable, nanosatellite network transforms the timeliness of information captured from even the most remote regions of the world, from studying the rate of deglaciation at the polar ice caps, to capturing information from weather stations, ground water monitoring and seismology. Even endangered animals have a role to play in combatting climate change. Attaching tiny sensors to an array of sea creatures, such as turtles, is providing scientists with new insight into the behaviour and travel patterns of the animals, and also capturing vital information regarding sea health, including salinity.
From mapping sea temperatures to the depth the turtles are swimming, to capturing information about the quality of the sea water, a wealth of data provided by these creatures is automatically transmitted via SatIoT as soon as they surface.
While improving our understanding of climate change and environmental concerns is important, the challenge remains rapidly identifying the value of any initiatives being taken to reduce its impact. In New Zealand, an initiative has been launched to remotely track cattle to identify individual animals that are unwell, allowing immediate intervention and removal from the herd to reduce the spread of disease and minimizing the need for medication in the process. This ability to rapidly capture and analyze information not only helps to fast track the adoption of this model but also, as a result, provides rapid insights into the success of the approach.
New levels of innovation and experimentation can be achieved with bidirectional IoT, which enables information to be transmitted back to the devices. This is particularly valuable for new agricultural initiatives aimed at reducing the use of chemicals and water. The ability to send commands back to assets removes the need for expensive and often hard-to-source human interaction when farmers are managing irrigation systems. Utilities companies can control water management systems in line with flood prevention strategies. Governments can respond quickly to catastrophic climate events, especially in those most vulnerable communities.
Integrating information with existing analytics, AI, or machine learning solutions, provides organizations with the power to not only use the data to improve understanding; but also quickly respond and inform timely commands to remote assets.
Provable change remains firmly at the heart of global strategies for mitigating the impact of climate change on both current and future populations. Providing access to affordable IoT across the globe, SatIoT is unlocking unprecedented innovation that will be vital as governments, scientists, not-for-profit organizations, and individuals adapt to a life with cleaner fuel and less reliance on pesticides, while still feeding the world’s rapidly growing population. This is just the start of a revolution in climate change understanding.
Astrocast | www.astrocast.com
PUBLISHED IN CIRCUIT CELLAR MAGAZINE • JULY 2022 #384 – Get a PDF of the issueSponsor this Article
Laurent Vieira de Mello is COO of Astrocast, a leading Satellite IoT service that enables asset tracking and two-way communications in remote areas of the world. Responsible for Regulatory Affairs, Marketing, Project Management Office, and Product Management departments, he ensures the smooth deployment of the strategy regarding company expansion, sales, access to international markets and partnerships.