Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd on Tuesday (11th Dec) made an announcement about NATO’s Science and Technology Organization scientists who are planning to deploy IoT solution in marine by making use of Globalstar satellite communications and SPOT Trace™ to further diversify their knowledge of the world’s oceans.

Low-cost SPOT Trace devices are placed by the research teams from the NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), in La Spezia, Italy. The installed marine IoT devices move freely in drifting buoys and float in the Arctic and Mediterranean waters to analyze surface drift behavior. The device transfers the recorded data of the movement noticed and the position of the ‘drifters’ over Globalstar’s low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network.

As a part of testing and innovative Science & Technology (S&T) solutions, the CMRE conduct the ocean acoustics studies as well as oceanography to address the security needs of the NATO alliance. The data thus collected help CMRE to understand and measure sea currents with the motive of diversifying their knowledge in understanding changing sea environment and inform NATO operational planning.

The research made by the organization helps in examining surface properties and horizontal motion in the sea. All this will mark the beginning of deeply understanding changes in maritime characterizations such as acoustic propagation, temperature change, size of pollutants collecting day-by-day and the movement of biogeochemical properties (e.g. phytoplankton).

NATO STO CMRE according to reports is conducting different studies in parallel. One such study is sponsored by the US Office of Naval Research under which SPOT Trace-equipped drifters are used to study the physical and biological aspects in the Alboran Sea in the Mediterranean, between North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.

NATO Deploys Marine IoT Devices With Help From Globalstar Europe Satellite Services

In addition to the above, next year in summers 2019 CMRE’s studies related to drift movement in the seas of Arctic will involve deployment of buoys into Arctic waters and in the Barents Sea.

Dr. Pierre-Marie Poulain, Principal Scientist and Project Leader at CMRE mentioned in an interview that “The maritime areas in the High North are the new frontier for oceanographic study and more research is crucial. In particular, with polar ice decreasing, we need to understand how Arctic ocean life will be impacted.” He further emphasized on conducting regular Arctic research so as to secure maritime traffic and guarantee safety in the new routes around the North Pole.

Gary King, SPOT Regional Sales Manager EMEA at Globalstar upon collaboration mentioned, “It is yet another endorsement of SPOT Trace’s flexibility and reliability that NATO chose Globalstar technology to help support its oceanographic research.” 

As of now, thousands of SPOT Trace units have been used around the globe to conduct oceanography studies. For example, Salvamento Maritimo makes use SPOT Trace to devise oil spill disaster recovery procedures, University of Oldenburg’s use the technology to monitor plastic debris in the North Sea and Spain’s coastal authority.