Icarus stands for International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space. Scientists taking part in the Icarus-initiative are working together to study the behavior of animals.

Scientists want to use Icarus to find out more about the life of animals on earth: the migratory routes they take and their living conditions. These findings will aid behavioural research, species protection and research into the paths taken in the spread of infectious diseases. The information should even help to predict ecological changes and natural disasters.

In the process, the Icarus researchers will attach mini-transmitters to a variety of animal species. These transmitters then send their measurement data to a receiver station in space. The receiver station in turn transmits the data to a ground station from where it is sent to the relevant teams of researchers. The results will be published in a database that will be accessible to everyone: movebank




Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Radolfzell/Konstanz, and University of Konstanz

Prof. Dr. Olga Solomina
Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (suspended since March 2022)

Uschi Müller (Coordinator)
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Radolfzell/Konstanz

Ethical board

Currently being commissioned. Overseeing global tagging activities.

Scientific advisory board

Prof. Dr. Gil Bohrer
Center for the Environment, Harvard University

Prof. Dr. Meg Crofoot
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Radolfzell/Konstanz, University of Konstanz and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama

Prof. Dr. Walter Jetz
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University

Prof. Dr. Roland Kays
North Carolina State University and Director of the Biodiversity & Earth Observation Lab, Nature Research Center, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, USA

Prof. Dr. Kate Mansfield
Biological Sciences, University of Central Florida

Prof. Dr. Kasper Thorup
Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen

Dr. Grigori Tertitski
Institute of Geography at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (suspended since March 2022)

Science Partners

University of Konstanz

Max Planck-Yale Center for Biodiversity Movement and Global Change

Princeton University

University of Copenhagen

North Carolina State University & Museum of Natural Sciences

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Institute of Geography, Moscow (suspended since March 2022)

International Astronautical Federation (IAF)

Technology partners

SpaceTech GmbH, Immenstaad

S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation ≪Energia≫, Moscow (suspended since March 2022)

INRADIOS Rohde & Schwarz GmbH, Dresden

Schäuffelhut-Berger GmbH, München

von Hoerner & Sulger GmbH, Schwetzingen

STT-SystemTechnik GmbH, Munich

Institute of Communications and Navigation at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen

Chair for RF and Photonics Engineering, Communications Laboratory at TU Dresden

Professorship for Information Transmission Systems, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering at the Universität der Bundeswehr München


The Max Planck Society

Space Administration at the German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) (suspended since March 2022)

European Space Agency (ESA)

National Geographic

National Science Foundation (NSF)

German Research Foundation (DFG)


Knobloch Family Foundation

Academy for the Protection of Zoo Animals and Wildlife e.V.

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