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Technology Application

Satellite-Connected Remote Monitoring of Ground-Based Sensor Data on DoD Lands


David Delaney, Research Wildlife Biologist, US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) -

Dr. Jean Pan, Ph.D., Natural Resources Specialist/Aircraft Reporting Custodian, Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center:

Martin Slosarik, Co-Founder, Picogrid, Inc. & Mission Mule LLC:

Zane Mountcastle, CEO/Co-Founder, Picogrid, Inc. & Mission Mule LLC:

Aaron Alvidrez, Wildlife Biologist, Range Management Office, Barry M. Goldwater Range East, Luke Air Force Base:


Important resources often exist “off the grid”, well beyond available power sources or connectivity infrastructure, which makes continuous, long-term monitoring of these resources exceptionally challenging. The cost of extending power and connectivity to these remote sites, often located in rugged terrain and in harsh environmental conditions, is cost prohibitive. Consequently, many current monitoring methods rely on manual observation and data collection from ground-based sensors, like camera traps, which cannot provide real-time data, leading to gaps in the collected information and data loss due to breakdowns. The Picogrid Lander is a solar powered and satellite connected device that requires no existing power or connectivity infrastructure. Lander is designed to interface with a wide array of existing sensors and field equipment to extend data collection capabilities further into remote areas. The Picogrid Lander technology has been deployed on the Barry M. Goldwater Range East near Gila Bend, Arizona in cooperation with Luke AFB 56 RMO, as part of a demonstration and validation project. The objectives of the project are to effectively integrate the Picogrid technology with various onsite ground-based sensors, test the ability of this satellite system to function effectively under harsh field conditions in remote landscapes, and to successfully demonstrate the efficiency of the system at transferring high bandwidth data for easy accessibility by installation natural resources managers, security personnel, etc. The technology can be widely applied to natural resources monitoring (e.g., at-risk species, threatened and endangered species) at military installations across branches of the DoD, as well remote sensing tasks (e.g., wildfire monitoring, physical security of military facilities).

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