2023-2024 Science Planning Summary
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2023-2024 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Swarm Technologies

Satellite communications dish on Ross Island. Photo by Nate Parkinson, courtesy of NSF/USAP Photo Library
X-600-M Research Location(s): McMurdo Station


Event Number:

Program Director:
Mr. Pat Smith

ASC POC/Implementer:
Ryan Steiner / Randolph Jones

Principal Investigator(s)

Ms. Sara Christine Spangelo
Swarm Technologies

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: McMurdo Station


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

NSF's SBIR Office has granted Swarm Technologies an extension to keep the currently installed hardware for another year (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. Additionally, Swarm shipped upgraded ground stations and ten asset trackers. The latter are intended to be installed on mobile assets (heavy machinery, vehicles, etc.) using magnetic mounts, zip ties, and/or hose clamps. Once they are installed, the asset trackers will automatically, periodically transmit asset locations to Swarm's satellite network, and tracking information is available to McMurdo Station operators.