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Satellite in the Wild: How the Smithsonian and Iridium Track Animals from Space

By Rachel Jewett | February 13, 2023

      One of the most exciting things about the satellite industry is exploring how satellite can be used to improve life on Earth. Iridium and the Smithsonian have worked together on a particularly interesting example of that, tracking wildlife. The Smithsonian has an initiative called Movement of Life, that tracks the movement of certain species. The organization recently partnered with Iridium to use the operator’s satellite network to help track species like Asian elephants, Masai giraffes, jaguars, wildebeests, and bobcats. 

      In this episode of On Orbit, Jared Stabach, research ecologist at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and Dan Mercer, vice president and general manager for Iridium, talk about how satellite-enabled IoT furthers conservation efforts by tracking these species. Jared talks about the research projects that Iridium’s network has enabled, like analyzing the impact of human activity on animal populations, as well as the satellite tech involved with designing IoT trackers that different wild animals can wear.

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