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Markets: Polar, Research

Partners: IEC Telecom and the IK Foundation

Iridium Certus® Keeps Remote Scientific Facility Connected

At A Glance:

  1. The Challenge

    A remote Arctic island presents opportunities for innovative scientific research but is inaccessible and disconnected.

  2. The Solution

    An autonomous field station connected by Iridium Certus® equipment to regularly transmit data to scientists around the world.

  3. The Impact

    The collection of staggering amounts of new data for scientific research, revolutionizing the IK Foundation’s approach.

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Interested in Iridium solutions? Get in touch.

The Challenge

Prins Karls Forland is an Arctic island north of Europe and one of the last truly wild landscapes on Earth. Due to government regulations and the harsh terrain, the island has been preserved, but also largely uninvestigated, presenting a rare opportunity to collect innovative biological data. To research the local biosphere, the IK Foundation designed the Field Station to generate continuous data of the previously unobserved environment.

However, collecting and transmitting large quantities of data from such a remote location poses unique logistical challenges. The Field Station requires a continuous, reliable connection and a fully autonomous communications system. The equipment must also be light enough to transport in small boats, but robust enough to deliver high-quality, dependable connectivity in harsh weather conditions.

The Solution

In order to achieve reliable, autonomous connectivity, IEC Telecom, an Iridium partner and service provider, recommended a Thales MissionLINK terminal enabled by Iridium Certus. The terminal’s weather resilience, streamlined interface, and ease of installation provide seamless connections without the need for hardware checkups.

In May 2019, a small IEC Telecom crew installed the terminal and has continued to provide performance upgrades and remote maintenance. The winning combination of Iridium Certus connectivity, IEC technical support, and Thales hardware enabled the IK Foundation Field Station to capture and transmit data on the local flora and fauna to scientists and researchers without disrupting the Nordic biosphere.

The Impact

Thanks to Iridium and its partners, the Arctic Field Station now transmits staggering amounts of raw biological data several times a day, significantly bolstering scientific research around the world.

By providing on-demand access to data and photographs, the Field Station revolutionized the scientific approach of the IK foundation, and the scientific data obtained will open doors for further studies.

New research opportunities have opened up, given that all projects and observations can be carried out remotely, and now the opportunities this platform presents are limited only by our imagination.

–Lars Hansen,
Head of the IK Foundation

Iridium Certus will continue to be a critical part of the Field Station and the IK Foundation’s approach to gathering and sharing observation data, as well as increasing scientific engagement worldwide.