SatIoT specialist tackles permafrost monitoring stations in Asia

SatIoT specialist tackles permafrost monitoring stations in Asia

The goal is to acquire a continuous time series of environmental parameters over a long time period, particularly at remote high-latitude and high-altitude field sites.

The project was initiated by the University of Fribourg, in Switzerland. Basically, it will apply Astrocast’s satellite comms technology to these remote monitoring stations. As part of the project, the company will be working with the Davos-based SensAlpin, which designs, builds, and operates equipment for such environmental monitoring.

The technology will be optimised for minimal resource use, e.g. low power consumption, say the companies, reducing the costs associated with existing satcom services.

The new system will first be tested in the Swiss Alps, before being implemented on a recently drilled permafrost borehole in the Akshiirak region in Kyrgyzstan.


Pictured above is an example remote SensAlpin monitoring station, located in Schilthorn, a summit in the Swiss Bernese Alps.

“The experience that our joint teams have gained through collaborating on this fascinating project will most likely result in additional developments for similar use cases, such as those found in other polar and high-altitude monitoring projects, where SatIoT can bring connectivity benefits to important sensors and other forms of monitoring equipment,” said the CEO of Astrocast, Fabien Jordan.

“For instance, based on this experience, our technology could be easily and cost-effectively integrated into an array of data loggers available on the market – such as those provided by the likes of Campbell Scientific, among others.”

SatIoT Constellation

In January of this year, Astrocast launched four 3U spacecraft, which it described as a milestone for building its nanosatellite IoT network.

The launch saw the company increase its commercial constellation to 18 satellites, making it one of the top 3 LEO satellite operators in Europe (based on the number of commercial satellites currently in low Earth orbit).

Image: SensAlpin

See also: Astrocast buys Hiber to consolidate satellite IoT services