ICARUS – start of routine operation

We are proud to announce that ICARUS works as expected! After a six months test phase of the space and ground segment, ICARUS will start its routine operation September 2020. This is a breakthrough for animal research and an important milestone for space-based Internet-of-things (IoT) solutions.

ICARUS – being a cooperation of the Russian space agency Roskosmos and the German Aerospace Center DLR under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Konstanz - will deliver information about migratory movements of birds, migration routes of mammals and insects. Primarily, this data will be used for behavioral research and animal welfare. Humankind will none the less be able to draw conclusions, to protecting our species against natural catastrophes, such as earth quakes or tsunamis.

The ICARUS system was designed and built by SpaceTech GmbH, with contributions from the German SMEs vH&S, Rohde&Schwarz INRADIOS, STT-SystemTechnik and with support of UniBW in München.

The system consists of the ICARUS Antenna, installed on the International Space Station (ISS), as well as the small, ultra-light-weight transmitters, carried by the animals - so called animal tags. The tags collect data of position, magnetic field, humidity, temperature as well as motion of the tracked animal.

spacetech icarus mission iss antenna tags communication
ICARUS communication between animal tags and ISS antenna

Internet of things (IoT)

This success shows SpaceTech’s competence in realizing space-based IoT projects aimed for smallest receiver sizes and lowest power demands.
The ICARUS project has the potential to change not only mankind’s view on animal behavior and the system earth, but also verifies the feasibility of SMS-to-space for anybody from any place in the world, independent from terrestrial networks.

Potential applications range from remote datalogging (e.g. for agriculture to logistics to environmental sensors), to personal emergency systems (available for smartphones or integrated devices in life jackets) to send position data from remote areas) to ultimately everyday use for everybody. STIs M2Space initiative for smartphones is a showcase for a potential future IoT constellation

When can we launch your IoT system?

M2Space Initiative
ICARUS development with STI
ICARUS: Global monitoring with animals
ICARUS: Tierwanderungen von der ISS aus beobachten