Sigfox Launches Foundation, Starts GPS Tracking Polar Scientists

Sigfox Launches Foundation, Starts GPS Tracking Polar Scientists
Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet, co-founder of low power wide area IoT network Sigfox, have announced today in a press conference the launch the SIGFOX Foundation, a not-for-profit entity based in Paris that will offer its network capabilities and wireless know-how to “support programs that are designed to protect people and the environment, and improve health care and social ties.“

The foundation’s first project is the Belgian Polar-exploration Station, where a local Sigfox network and GPS sensors are currently under test to help strengthen safety and security during research operations at the Antarctica expedition, which is underway now.

The Belgian startup Sensolus has provides the 45 GPS trackers operating with long-lasting batteries and Sigfox is ensuring the connection of these trackers to its low-power network with only two antennas installed at the station. SIGFOX’s ultra-narrow band (UNB) technology enables a signal range of more than 40 kilometers in open space.

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The unique monitoring system aims at securing the operations of the Belgian teams in the field. Working in harsh conditions in a barren environment, the teams sometimes are far away from the Princess Elisabeth station. The GPS trackers from Sensolus are powered by 3 AA batteries which gives them enough power to last for 5 years with one location update per hour.

Tests are being conducted now during Antarctica’s summer and results will be published in March 2016.

The partnership with the Belgian Polar-exploration Station has been established for 5 years and it is expected that the network capabilities will be used for more than GPS tracking after the first tests. “We currently have two antennas, but obviously we are open to set up more if there is demand from the scientific community at other stations.“

The Sigfox foundation is currently exploring at least two other projects: one is the tracking of location and stress level Rhinos in Africa to assess possible danger around the animals to prevent poaching. Another project is about adding location tracking to lifejackets to protect and rescue poor fishermen in Indonesia.

Tuesday, January 19th 2016

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