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Icarus: Antenna for animal sensor network on the way to the ISS

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 | bitcoin updates

            A butterfly with the barely visible transmitter.
                (Picture: MPIO, Copyright MaxCine)
             With thousands of sensors on animals and antennas on the International Space Station, German and Russian researchers want to observe animal migrations and predict volcanic eruptions. Decisive hardware is now on its way to the ISS.


        A Russian rocket has brought the crucial component for a Russian-German demonstration project to build an animal sensor network to the ISS. The antenna for Icarus (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) will arrive on the ISS on February 15 after the launch of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, said the German Aerospace Center.
It will be deployed to the ISS during a spacewalk in August and then begin collecting data. Then it will track the signals of several thousand sensors attached to animals around the world. The researchers behind the project want to analyze animal migrations.

The project has been prepared for years and should actually be tested much earlier. Thanks to tiny sensors on the bodies of free-living animals, the scientists want to investigate their migrations. As a result, they could warn early against the spread of bird flu, they had explained. Even before natural disasters, the network could warn in the future, such as volcanic eruptions. For example, in many major outbreaks, animals had already fled hours before; in the future, animal movements could be used as an early warning system. Initially, small animals such as birds, bats or fruit bats will be analyzed.
A sensor network for the animal worldThe computer needed for the project had already been brought to the ISS in autumn 2017. It should be put into operation and tested in April. Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopyev will then attach the associated three antennas on 8 August 2018 at the International Space Station. You can receive data from up to 15 million senders. In the future, they will be downsized and the receiver hardware will in future fly on satellites as it were. Then the observation network should become narrower and more reliable.




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