Globalstar Provides Satellite Tech to Protect Norway’s Reindeer
Globalstar Europe Satellite Services announced that its technology is at the heart of the SaveMyReindeer Internet of Things (IOT) solution developed by specialist animal tracking provider, FindMy. Accordign to FindMy, the solution is designed to prevent trains from colliding with reindeer in Norway’s hinterland.
Hundreds of kilometers of Norway’s railroads, reaching inside the Arctic Circle, traverse territories inhabited by the region’s indigenous Sami people, for whom keeping herds of reindeer as livestock has for millennia been central to their culture and economy. These animals roam free, often migrating into Sweden and Finland.
Each year, trains kill about 6,500 of the Nordic region’s 600,000 reindeer, with an estimated loss of 8.5 million euro ($10 million) of livestock.
“When designing SaveMyReindeer, we knew that only satellite would give us the reach we needed in remote regions. Other requirements were low power consumption and minimal maintenance since reindeer live outdoors year-round. Low cost was also a key requirement to drive higher volumes of collars, and allows us to develop new international markets,” said Halvor Mjoen, FindMy founder.
FindMy, formerly known as FindMySheep, uses the Globalstar network and STX3 chipset for its animal tracking collars and services, including SaveMyReindeer.
SaveMyReindeer uses data from the Norwegian Railway Directorate on the real-time location of each train combined with open data from Kartverket, the Norwegian mapping authority, to create a moving geofence 40-50 km around the train. By comparing the geofence area with GPS data from FindMy collars already keeping tabs on reindeer, the system warns train drivers when they are approaching the animals so they can either accelerate to get out of the herd’s way, slow down or stop the train. The reindeer owner simultaneously receives an alert on their smartphone warning them that their animals may be in danger, giving them the opportunity to move the herd out of harm’s way.
FindMy and Kartverket are also considering how this system could make Norway’s highways safer. The solution could feed warnings to smart signs — live electronic displays which indicate optimal speed limits based on current weather conditions and traffic, and which mitigate the dangers of animals roaming onto highways.