Researchers are shifting horizons with Icarus – they are crossing geographic boundaries, setting technical records and revolutionizing our knowledge of our planet. As part of this, Icarus is linking up Earth and outer space. Mini-transmitters are collecting animal movement and body data on Earth and outer space is serving as a relay station for radio links between transmitters and the operating centre on the ground. The International Space Station ISS serves as the platform for Icarus. Following the successful completion of the test phase, operational use started in March 2021.

In an initial test phase, the International Space Station (ISS) is serving as a platform for Icarus to test the performance of the antennae, receivers and transmitters.

The mini-transmitters specially designed for Icarus weigh just five grams. [more]
The transmitters send their measurements to the receiver station at regular intervals. [more]
The International Space Station (ISS) receives signals from the transmitters and forwards them to the control centre on the ground [more]
A control centre monitors the Icarus systems on board the space station and a user data centre manages scientists’ access to the data. [more]
Movebank is a database on animal movements that anyone can access free-of-charge. It enables scientists to exchange and analyze their data. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Konstanz, for example, are observing the movements of several bird species in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and are feeding their results into the Movebank. [more]
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