2022-2023 Science Planning Summary
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2022-2023 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Swarm Technologies


Photo by Joe Harrigan. Image courtesy of NSF/USAP Photo Library. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
X-600-M Research Location(s): McMurdo Station

Summary

Event Number:
X-600-M
NSF / OPP Award 1758752

Program Manager:
Ms. Jessie Crain

ASC POC/Implementer:
Ryan Steiner / Randolph Jones


Principal Investigator(s)

Ms. Sara Christine Spangelo
sara@swarm.space
Swarm Technologies

Project Web Site:
https://swarm.space/


Location

Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: McMurdo Station


Description

Swarm Technologies is a satellite network-as-a-service company that provides customers access to an affordable communications network, ground hardware, and platform solution for managing, collecting and retrieving data from remote regions often without cell or WiFi. Swarm has developed the world’s smallest two-way communications satellites and has deployed seven communications satellites into low-Earth orbit. With the support of an NSF SBIR Phase II grant, Swarm is performing research and development work to optimize network performance, improve ground hardware, and demonstrate end-to-end connectivity through commercial pilot tests. Swarm has deployed two ground stations at McMurdo Station to further improve and evaluate network performance, thereby increasing the opportunity for long-term commercial success and humanitarian and scientific impact.


Field Season Overview

The main requirement this season is to keep the currently installed hardware powered for another year, which is comprised of two Swarm ground stations located at McMurdo Station, and to demonstrate and quantify the increase in network capacity and decrease in latency resulting from their deployment. Swarm will also be shipping 10 mobile asset trackers. These are intended to be installed on mobile assets (snowmobiles, trucks, plows, etc.) and fixed to the assets using magnetic mounts/zip ties/hose clamps. Once they are installed, the asset trackers will automatically, periodically transmit asset locations to Swarm's satellite network, and tracking information and a map of assets will be made available to McMurdo Station operators.