April 22, 2014 is Earth Day. Celebrated in different ways all around the globe, Earth Day is considered to be the largest environmental event in the world.

To mark this important day, Iridium wanted to highlight some of the environmental initiatives its network of partners are involved in.

Rutgers Challenger Glider Mission

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet, and Iridium is proud to be involved in a project to better understand the role of oceans in our changing climate.

Rutgers University students and faculty at the Coastal Ocean Observation Lab are working on the Challenger Glider Mission, which will help enable more accurate weather and ocean forecasting.

Supported by Iridium’s unique global network and using the Iridium 9522B Rutgers University will be able to collect an unprecedented amount of data and insights, which will equip researchers with tools to predict the ocean’s future and its impact on global weather.

Partners in the Sky

The locations and movements of animals are essential to understanding ecosystems and  ultimately the health of the planet. Iridium is honored to be part of the team of aviation and aerospace industry leaders who joined the Smithsonian to unlock the mysteries of animal migration through precise, near real-time tracking.

To showcase the technology potential, elephants both at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington DC and in the wild at the Centre for Conservation and Research in Sri Lanka have been collared with a tracking device designed by Joubeh and powered by the Iridium 9602. Thanks to the global Iridium® satellite constellation, these elephants’ positions will be graphically displayed on a kiosk at the Elephant Community Center and on the Zoo’s website.

The Partner in the Sky consortium includes companies such as Airbus, Intel, Iridium, Joubeh, Lockheed Martin, Michael Goldfarb Associates, Raytheon, Rockwell Collins and United Airlines.

MetOceans iSPHERE

Iridium is excited to play a role in helping the oceanographic scientific community and the offshore oil industry deal with oil spills, as they can have devastating environmental impacts, damaging natural ecosystems and threatening the survival of the organisms that live within them.

MetOcean’s iSPHERE is an oil spill tracking buoy connected by an Iridium 9602 that uses the Iridium satellite constellation to transmit location data every minute from anywhere in the world as the buoy drifts with the oil spill — enabling near real-time tracking and better predictions models on the migration of spills.

A major example of the technology in action was the use of iSPHERE buoys during the Deep Water Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Instant Wild Global ZSL

With a number of species on the brink of extinction, advances in technology have become important to solve conservation challenges. The Instant Wild Program validates the effectiveness of current global animal conservation strategy via the use of the Instant Wild App, powered by the Iridium network. Current data collection and evaluation techniques can take years to validate, whereas with the power of the world’s furthest reaching network, data collection has become almost instantaneous and more effective.

Iridium is  proud to partner with the ZSL London Zoo, among other experts, in the development of innovative and integrated technological tools with the potential to revolutionize wildlife surveillance and biodiversity monitoring.

A Truly Global Effort

These are only some of the examples of environmental protection efforts that Iridium is proud to be part of, displaying that a truly global, reliable satellite communications can make a difference — everywhere on the planet.