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Sensolus goes Antarctica

SensolusBelgian Polar Secretariat and Sigfox announced a partnership for connecting the 2015-16 BELARE expedition, based in the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Polar Station.

The goal of the collaboration is to strengthen safety and security during research and field operations at the Belgian polar-exploration.

The 2015-16 BELARE expedition consists of a team of technicians and researchers specialized in glaciology, climatology and geomorphology in charge of various Belgian and international scientific projects. People on expeditions and moving materials (equipment) in a range up to 40 km around the base station are monitored  with 45 Sensolus SNT trackers from Sensolus based on the Sigfox communication network. Tracking of materials is at the core of the capabilities of the Sensolus GPS devices. Sensolus SNT Trackers will not only inform about the location of the materials, but can also inform on temperature, usage and other parameters that might be interesting to follow-up.

Antarctica is the earth’s coldest, windiest and harshest continent. In the wintertime, temperatures reach a minimum range of -80°C to -90°C. Highs during summer are 5-15°C, near the coasts. The continent’s katabatic – or descending winds – that carry air downward, can reach 250 km/h and an atmospheric pressure high as 830 hPa. Variable rainfall adds to snowdrifts, and on top of that it is daylight around the clock for 100 days during the austral summer.

First results on the contribution of Sensolus and Sigfox technology to the mission will be released in March. But the network is rolled out and the trackers are attached to pinots, skidoes, containers,…

In the Press event of today (19/01) taking place at the Sigfox office in Paris, Kristoff presented the value of Sensolus SNT Trackers, in the form of sensors as easy as stickers. Sensolus SNT Trackers are low in energy use, industrial rated and extreme easy to install. The Antarctic project proves each of these features in real-life, at a harsh conditions in a remote area. On the same event, Sigfox launched their Sigfox Foundation, aiming at funding and realizing social driven projects for preserving environmental conditions, nature and health.
Kristoff van Rattinghe, co-founder Sensolus

“Having our extremely battery-efficient Sensolus GPS trackers at the Princess Elisabeth station at BELARE expeditions is very exciting.” “We strongly believe that sustaining operational missions is the kind of real innovation we can achieve with the Internet of Things. And this is only possible through strong collaborations like the one set up for this mission. Via this collaboration, great opportunities are created to take big steps forward in the team’s knowledge of climatic changes and mission management.”

“This partnership will allow us to test technology that could be useful for the safety of our operations in Antarctica. However, security of women and men we send in Antarctica to implement key scientific projects for the preservation of mankind, is a top priority for the Belgian Polar Secretariat. In addition, this collaboration perfectly answer to our ongoing commitment to combine the industrial world to our development projects. This commitment is also part of the strategy of the State Secretary for Science Policy, Mrs. Elke Sleurs. So we wait, impatiently, the test results in March 2016.”

“We fully support the BELARE, and are convinced that the Internet of Things is a great opportunity to ensure the safety of high-risk operations by Belgian teams in Antarctica.” “We wish to commit ourselves to support the causes that are all or part of the solution with the Sigfox communication, and sensors connected to the Internet. In that perspective, we are today launching Sigfox Foundation, that will operate nonprofit missions.”

We  will keep you updated on this exciting project. So more to hear from us later!

Some additonal press:

Datanews (dutch)