ICARUS side event on CMS/COP11 meeting in Quito/Ecuador on Nov. 7th, 2014

Published by Max Planck Institute on Mon, 11/10/2014 - 11:44

Organized by the Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology and the University of Konstanz, this event showcased the International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space (ICARUS) system – a global collaboration of animal scientists establishing satellite-based infrastructure for the observation of small species, including birds, bats and sea turtles. Martin Wilkeski, Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology, explained the system, highlighting that it consists of both space-borne elements including the International Space Center, and earth-borne elements including miniaturized animal tags.
Participants at the event discussed the importance of ICARUS, including its uses in disaster forecasting, conservation and discovery of unknown migrations.
UNEP/CMS/COP11 final resolution:
"Acknowledging that the ability to increasingly track animals globally will greatly enhance the knowledge base for informed conservation decision making, for example through global tracking initiatives such as ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space), planned to be implemented on the International Space Station by the German and Russian Aerospace Centres (DLR and Roscosmos) by the end of 2015; "

Migration ecology (Tracking animal movement)

29. For many migratory species knowledge of their migration routes, the timing of their migration and consequently threats during their migration is missing. Furthermore there is a high number of endangered species, especially smaller ones, where it is unknown if they exhibit migratory behaviour. New technologies, such as those developed under the ICARUS project7, and new methodologies will make tracking of smaller animals feasible. Increasing application of existing animal tracking methodology and adoption of new technology and methods, holds great promise to improve knowledge on the migratory behaviour of many species. Several research institutes and universities advance research on tracking animal movement, including, for example, the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the members of ICARUS. Keeping up to date on these new technologies and promoting their use among CMS Parties is an issue that can help bring forward the CMS agenda in the coming years, particularly the Convention’s work on connectivity and ecological networks.

2. Technical Russian/German ICARUS Meeting

Published by Max Planck Institute on Tue, 07/08/2014 - 12:58

From the 23rd of June until the 27th of June, the second technical German/Russian ICARUS meeting took place at Lake Constance. In collaboration with the Russian colleagues from RKK-Energia and IG RAS Moscow, as well as Space Tech Immenstaad and the DLR (German Aerospace Center) the technical and scientific parameter were redefined, because of the amended implementation of the ICARUS Hardware on the Russian Service Module of the ISS(International Space Station). The documents were ratified. As a result of the necessary redesign, the launch date was changed to spring 2016. At the same time the first ICARUS tag prototype will be tested by the ICARUS system on the ISS from an altitude of 430-470km above the earth surface.

Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of the ICARUS Space Project successfully achieved

Published by Max Planck Institute on Thu, 04/03/2014 - 13:59

The Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology held the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) from March 26 to March 27, 2014 in Radolfzell.

The review was carried out according to the strict DLR (German Aerospace) guidelines and achieved the technical maturity of the PDR successfully.

The Max-Planck thanks the Review Board, Review-  and Technical Team for their big support in the project.

ICARUS Russia - Call for Proposals

Published by Max Planck Institute on Tue, 01/28/2014 - 00:00

Call for Proposals

ICARUS invites Russian scientists to propose scientific projects which are focused on movement ecology of animals. We plan to award ICARUS transmitters and local read out equipment for 2016 and 2017 years for reserch in migration of varoius species of animals. The application must be submitted by a principal investigator using special form on our web site.



Main dates:
Opens - 25 November 2013
Closes - 15 February 2014
Award decisions - 1 March 2014

Principal investigators of awarded projects will be invited to the ICARUS kick-off workshop Russia, which is planned for 19. - 21. November 2014 in Moscow, Russia. Please see the agenda attached (PDF).

Germany and Russia will implement a global system for animal observation on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015

Published by Max Planck Institute on Fri, 01/24/2014 - 14:14

Press release by the MPIO Radolfzell and DLR, German Aerospace Centre December 2013

Within the National Space program of the ISS (International Space Station) and manned space flight the DLR German Aerospace Agency is funding the development of satellite-based digital telemetry for animal observation, the ICARUS Space Project (International Cooperation of Animal Research Using Space).

The Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (MPIO), department for animal migration, headed by Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski who is also chair holder at the University of Konstanz, has been granted financial funding for the coming years for the development of related technology. The MPIO decided to choose SpaceTech GmbH, Immendstaad, Bodensee, as the main contractor and technical project manager, because this SME has a high level of competence in the field of space technology.

The major project commenced in March 2012 with a feasibility study and has been in the implementation phase since January 2013. The prerequisite for successful continuation of the project was the ratification of the bilateral agreements between the Russian Space Agency, ROSCOSMOS, and the German Space Agency, DLR. This agreement ensures that the financial assistance from Russia matches the German funds for ICARUS.

The Max Planck Society decided to fund, parallel to the grants from the DLR, the miniaturization of the ICARUS tag.

ICARUS is a global experimental animal observation system. This project was evaluated in 2009 by the European Science Foundation in the ELIPS program of European Space Agency as scientifically excellent and in March 2012 it was supported by the DLR Space Management as a national program. The support through public funding is a significant step to an independent ICARUS Satellite constellation in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) which enables us to create a global comprehensive and long-term observation of animals of all sizes from outer space.

The ICARUS experimental system will be installed on the Russian MLM (Multipurpose Laboratory Module) of the International Space station (ISS) – presumably end of 2015. Revolutionary scientific knowledge about life, behaviour, vital functions and death of the animals on our planet is expected through the data generated by ICARUS. The globally collected data allow among other things conclusions on the spread of disease (zoonosis), findings on climate change and disaster forecast. The scientific knowledge acquired will undoubtedly be of invaluable importance for mankind and finally for our life on earth.