Press Release

Battelle and National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Sending Ecological Data to Space and Back to Ensure Timely Delivery of Data to Scientists

By SpaceRef Editor
March 7, 2022
Filed under , ,

Battelle, which manages the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) program, is now using Starlink in a pilot test to achieve improved data transmission and service as part of an ongoing initiative to leverage new and innovative technologies to improve and enhance the operations of NEON.

The NSF’s NEON collects data about plants, animals, soil, nutrients, fresh water and the atmosphere in a range of U.S. ecological and climatically diverse areas through a system of field sites.

Many of the NEON sites are in remote settings, so getting the data from the field to the scientists can be a challenge. Dedicated to ensuring efficient and cost-effective transmission of the scientific data from the field sites Battelle installed a Starlink high-speed, low-latency satellite communication system at its Rocky Mountain National Park NEON tower site in Colorado.

NEON data from the site, near Rocky Mountain National Park, is now being sent up to Starlink satellites and back down to the NEON data portal for scientists to use.

“Leveraging this new technology promises to enable faster and more reliable communication of data from NEON sites for incorporation into the NEON open-data system,” said Paula Mabee, NEON Chief Scientist and Observatory Director. “In turn, this will enable scientists to better study and understand how U.S. ecosystems are changing, while at the same time making the Observatory more efficient.”

“The use of Starlink satellites for the NSF/NEON program demonstrates clearly how the new commercial space industry can benefit science and our understanding of climate and biodiversity changes,” said John Grunsfeld, former Astronaut and NASA Associate Administrator for Science. “The ability to reach remote areas nearly anywhere on planet Earth promises to enable new opportunities for science and exploration.”

About Battelle

Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.

Contacts

Katy Delaney 

(614) 424-7208 

delaneyk@battelle.org

T.R. Massey 

(614) 424-5544 

masseytr@battelle.org

SpaceRef staff editor.