Project head

Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski
Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski
Scientific Member / Director

Project members

Uschi Müller
Uschi Müller
Project Manager ICARUS
Phone: +49 7531 88-4725
Bernd Vorneweg
Bernd Vorneweg
System Engineer
Phone: +49 7732 1501 71

ICARUS Executive Board

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Prof. Dr. Meg Crofoot

Assistant Professor

Dept. of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, USA

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Prof. Dr. Kasper Thorup

Associate Professor

Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

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Dr. Grigori Tertitski

Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

 

ICARUS

ICARUS' mission is to work towards establishing a remote sensing platform for scientists world-wide that  track small organisms globally, enabling observations and experiments over large spatial scales.

What is ICARUS?

ICARUS, short for 'International Cooperation for animal Research Using Space', is a global collaboration of animal scientists to establish a satellite based infrastructure for earth observation of small objects such as migratory birds, bats, or sea turtles.

Why ICARUS?

  • ICARUS will help solve two major enigmas in biology: we need to understand

  • the ontogeny of behavioral and movement traits of animals in the wild, and

  • the selection acting on individuals in the wild (i.e., where, why and when do individuals die).

  • ICARUS will also provide a seeing-eye dog for humankind. We will use the evolved senses of animals for remote sensing. Examples are:
  • Disaster forecast via animals
  • Health and disease (Avian Influenza, Foot and Mouth Disease, Ebola)
  • Ecosystem services (pollination, pest control, seed dispersal)
  • Conservation (dispersal & conservation of endangered species)
  • Global change (habitat shifts, desertification, glacial melts)
  • Discovery of unknown migrations

How does ICARUS work?

  • Data collection in black-box-logger on individual small animals including GPS, 3D-acceleration and other sensors
  • Autonomous energy supply (solar cell in combination with rechargeable batteries)
  • On board processing, data reduction, and selection of relevant data
  • Transmission of small data packages to LEO satellite (about 400MHz transmission using 3 receiving antennas)
  • CDMA coding of signal and data
  • Decoding of signal on board of satellite, downlink to ground station (15kg for receiver at 110W)
  • Data distribution and storage via Movebank

Next steps of ICARUS

  •  ICARUS will fly experimentally on the International Space Station (ISS)
  • 2015 Launch
  • 2016-17 Testing phase with pre-selected projects
  • 2018 Opening ICARUS for the scientific community

 
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