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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sensing the Environment with ICT (Cont'd)

Since I posted ‘Sensing the Environment with ICT’ on July 7th, I have been looking for corporate examples of the application of ICTs to environmental monitoring. I was intending to identify some down-to-earth examples, such as monitoring wastewater flows out of a factory. I am still looking for a good case study.

However, I recently spoke with Dan Thoma, executive vice president of marketing at Iridium Satellite LLC, and learned about a far from down-to-earth example. Iridium is developing a solution that tries to monitor climate and other environmental metrics in a holistic way, without requiring large numbers of sensing devices on the ground and then having to collect information from them. They are planning on including the sensing devices in a network of new satellites so the whole thing is pretty much self-contained: altimeters for measuring wind speed, sea surface height, wave height; radiometers to measure the earth's radiation budget; GPS radiation occultation (not sure I fully understand what that is, but it's such a great word I had to include it!) to measure temperature and humidity and imagers to measure deforestation and desertification. You can find some great visuals and more examples of applications in a presentation they gave as part of an event at the Royal Society.

I am still looking for examples within other industry sectors of using monitoring for environmental benefit. If you have any, please share them.

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