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Satellite devices shine light on remote areas

Defence

TINY devices to transmit data to and from some of the world’s most remote locations are set to revolutionise machine-to-machine communications.

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New company Myriota has formed to commercialise technology developed by the University of South Australia’s Institute for Telecommunications Research.

Industry analysts have estimated that global M2M revenue will grow to $1.2 trillion by 2022.

It will use low earth orbit satellites to provide two-way data connectivity for remote sensors and devices for industries such as oil and gas exploration, agriculture, environmental monitoring and defence where there is a need to access little pieces of data in very remote locations.

Industry analysts have estimated that global M2M revenue will grow to $1.2 trillion by 2022.

“There were existing satellite services in place but they were expensive in terms of the device needed on the ground and the service fee to access satellite. That might be OK for your broadband service in the outback but it’s not OK if you just want to know is your gate is open.”

The South Australian company will use the first half of 2016 further developing prototype devices into a consumer product it can take to market.

Myriota has partnered with Canadian company exactEarth, which will provide funding to commercialise the new technology and access to its constellation of low earth orbit satellites.

“That has given us a very rapid pathway to offering this service potentially globally very quickly,” Dr Grant said.

“The first generation (of devices) will be something like the size of a credit card. The second generation in subsequent years will be a further miniaturisation to really open up the set of applications for collecting the data.

“Not only do we need to show the technology working, we need to show the benefit of having access to the data where there is currently no access.

“We think there’s a market segment that is currently not really served and that is really an opportunity and it’s quite exciting – we believe we have a technology edge and one that is addressing a latent market that is really waiting for an economic solution.

“We are aiming to build up global markets but we’re really leveraging a fairly strong history of expertise and talent in wireless communication in South Australia.

University of South Australia won funding to explore the technology through the Federal Government’s Australian Space Research Program grant in 2011. In 2013 the technology was awarded “Technology of the Year” by the Wireless Innovation Forum.

“So we kind of knew we were on to something at that point and since then we’ve focused on really proving it in the field, showing it working over actual satellite channels in Australia and in Canada.”

Stephen Rodda, chief executive officer of UniSA’s commercialisation arm, UniSA Ventures, said Myriota would make a significant contribution to telecommunications services globally and make an economic impact locally, potentially spurring the growth of businesses in a number of industries.

“Using M2M communications, high-volume applications in asset tracking, inventory management, environmental sensing, and livestock tracking can now be undertaken without prohibitive expense,” Dr Rodda said.

“Markets that may have not been commercially viable in the past now have the potential to emerge and grow quickly providing many avenues for the research from UniSA to deliver demonstrable impact commercially and to society.”

Key Contacts:

Dr Alex GrantPh: +61 417 887 914E: alex.grant@myriota.com

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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