The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has partnered with Myriota, an Internet of Things (IoT) satellite technology company, to trial ocean drifters that report back to base using satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO).
According to Melanie Olsen, AIMS technology development team leader, ocean drifters, as they connect to LEO satellites, avoid issues like coverage dropouts and connectivity issues that come from using traditional mobile phone networks.
According to Myriota, the drifters monitor currents, location, barometric pressure, and sea surface water temperatures, and, in future, AIMS could get oceanographic data every hour.
In November 2017, Myriota CEO Alex Grant detailed the transmitter that was a result of seven years of research and development. Myriota’s current-generation technology allows for a 4-year battery life of IoT devices using 2 AA batteries; scales to hundreds of millions of connections; and offers a tenfold cost reduction from traditional satellite offerings, reducing the bar for getting into space.
At the start of the year, Myriota raised $15 million through a Series A funding round, with Singtel Innov8, Boeing HorizonX Ventures, and Right Click Capital. Myriota said the cash injection would allow launching more satellites; adding 50 additional staff members to its South Australian headquarters; opening offices in North America and Asia; and launching a $2.7 million IoT innovation lab in Adelaide.