IEEE.orgIEEE Xplore Digital Library IEEE Standards IEEE SpectrumMore Sites
Sensor data, low cost, anywhere on Earth – Antarctica and Southern Ocean Forum

Sensor data, low cost, anywhere on Earth

August 16, 2018
14:10  -  14:40
Auditorium

Cost effective retrieval of data from unattended ground-based sensors, and oceanographic
drifters at polar latitudes is challenging. Deployment and maintenance of remote infrastructure is
expensive (particularly for antarctic areas), and infeasible for maritime areas distant from the
coast. Satellite technologies provide remote data communications, however geosynchronous
satellites do not provide coverage at latitudes beyond 60 degrees. Low earth orbit satellites, and
in particular polar orbiting satellites can provide coverage for these challenging regions.
Traditionally however these technologies have had limited application for remote sensor data
retrieval due to (a) high cost of equipment and service (b) large form factor (c) short battery life.
Myriota has developed a small, low cost, long battery life solution for sensor data retrieval with
global coverage, including at high latitudes and at sea. The Myriota solution consists of a tiny
(40mm x 20mm) communications module which communicates short, 20-byte messages direct
to a constellation of low earth orbit nanosatellites. The Myriota device additionally has on board
computing, memory and standard sensor interfaces. Using a store-and-forward approach, the
service can support non-real-time sensor data applications. Nanosatellites provide a very cost
effective infrastructure with global coverage.
Myriota’s direct-to-orbit architecture greatly simplifies sensor deployment as it does not require
deployment and maintenance of infrastructure such as aggregators or gateways. This is ideal
for isolated or sparsely deployed instruments, and tracking of mobile assets or animals.
Detailed energy use models, validated by extensive field trials indicates battery life measured in
years (e.g. 4 years for once-a-day service), but are yet to be tested in polar environments.
Myriota currently operates with three polar orbiting satellites and is expanding its constellation
over time. Currently these three satellites provide for more than 42 passes per day over polar
regions, which equates to an average 25 to 42 minute revisit for latitudes from 90S to 60S
(better revisit further south). On board memory can be used to log data more frequently if
required, reporting logged data each pass.
Myriota devices have been trialled in a number of applications, including oceanographic drifters
developed by the Australian Institute for Marine Science, water tank level monitoring in remote
areas of Australia, tracking of commercial fishing vessels, monitoring and tracking of rental
equipment, level metering and flow metering for environmental water measurement.
In this presentation, we will give anintroduction to the Myriota technology and service and
describe several pilot deployments.

Session Category :  Data Science