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Battelle Using Starlink Constellation to Transmit National Ecological Observatory Network Data


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Battelle Using Starlink Constellation to Transmit National Ecological Observatory Network Data

Ohio-headquartered Battelle announced that it is currently using the Starlink satellite internet constellation in a pilot test to achieve improved data transmission and service for the National Science Foundation’s National Ecological Observatory Network program. The effort is part of an ongoing initiative to leverage new and innovative technologies to improve and enhance NEON, Battelle said Monday.

In a statement, Battelle, a private nonprofit applied science and technology development company, said many NEON sites are in remote settings, and getting the data from the field to the scientists has been a challenge. To address this problem, the company has installed a Starlink high-speed, low-latency satellite communication system at its Rocky Mountain National Park NEON tower site in Colorado to ensure the transmission of scientific data from the field sites. Data from the site is now being sent up to Starlink satellites and back down to the NEON data portal for scientists to use, Battelle added.

Paula Mabee, NEON chief scientist and observatory director, said leveraging this new technology promises to enable faster and more reliable communication of data from NEON sites for incorporation into the program’s open-data system. 

For his part, John Grunsfeld, a former astronaut and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s associate administrator for science, said the use of Starlink satellites for the NEON program demonstrates how the new commercial space industry can benefit science.

The NEON program is a continental-scale research platform for discovering and understanding the impacts of climate change, land-use change, and invasive species on ecology. It gathers long-term data on ecological responses of the biosphere to changes in land use and climate and on feedback with the geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.

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Category: Space