u-blox, CTT collaborate on penguin conservation effort - GPS World

u-blox, CTT collaborate on penguin conservation effort

March 25, 2024  - By
Image: u-blox

Image: u-blox

u-blox has partnered with Cellular Tracking Technologies (CTT), a specialist in wildlife telemetry and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, in an initiative aimed at conserving Antarctic wildlife.

The collaboration has introduced a cloud-based positioning solution to monitor the activities of Adélie penguins in Ross Island, Antarctica. The venture began when Point Blue, an American wildlife conservation organization, reached out to CTT to create a tracking mechanism that could study the movements of young Adélie penguins. These birds are among the five penguin species inhabiting Antarctica and are considered crucial for environmental studies due to their sensitivity to ecological shifts caused by climate change and human activities, such as commercial fishing.

Due to the challenging conditions in Antarctica, tracking penguins required a device that was lightweight, non-intrusive, energy-efficient, and cost-effective in terms of data transmission. This was particularly important given the small size of the penguins, their rapid movement, and their extended underwater dives.

u-blox provided its CloudLocate positioning service to meet these stringent requirements, which led to the development of CTT’s Penguin Iridium GNSS tracker. The tracker is fixed to the penguins’ backs and uses one of u-blox’s compact GNSS modules. The CloudLocate service processes the positioning calculation in the cloud rather than on the device to save energy and enable prolonged monitoring periods without the need for frequent device replacements.

The tracker operates by sending a concise 50 B message, which captures essential location data during the brief moments when a penguin surfaces for air. This level of efficiency is critical in minimizing the costs associated with satellite connectivity, which is often prohibitively expensive in such remote regions.

This partnership marks an advancement in wildlife conservation technology by allowing for non-invasive, continuous monitoring of Adélie penguins and providing vital data for assessing the impacts of environmental changes. CTT aims to extend this tracking solution to a wider range of wildlife research and conservation projects to demonstrate the potential for technological innovation to contribute significantly to ecological preservation efforts.

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