Rocket science for conservation
Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
November 13, 2019
Pacific Forum—11:00 a.m.
In spite of numerous technological advancements over the past few decades, reliable, global wildlife tracking remains an elusive goal. Current tracking systems rely on some combination of terrestrial infrastructure with limited coverage (e.g. cell towers), satellites that require bulky and expensive radios to communicate with (e.g. Argos), or physically trapping the animal to recover tag data. The PandaSat project, which includes researchers from Stanford University, The University of Colorado, and the World Wildlife Foundation, is trying to address this crucial technology gap by combining advancements in radio tracking techniques, low-cost electronics, and small satellites. The goal is to deliver researchers positioning data with an accuracy better than 100 meters (328 feet) from gram-scale tags anywhere on Earth.