Space tech brings IoT anywhere one step closer

Published on the 23/02/2018 | Written by Jonathan Cotton

Myriota Commercial Satellite Imaging

As IoT and this hemisphere’s space capabilities mature, satellite comms company Myriota hopes to cash in...

By all accounts the commercial space industry is having a moment. As satellites get cheaper, smaller and easier to build, with commercial launches happening ever more frequently (including Rocket Lab’s recent successful payload delivery across the pond) and with the ostentatious displays of Elon Musk keeping the whole space thing front-of-mind globally, it seems that space may indeed be the new commercial frontier.

And now you can add Adelaide’s new space-tech facilities, courtesy of satellite IoT company Myriota.

Myriota IoT transmitterMyriota’s technology – matchbox-sized ultra-low-cost satellite IoT transmitters that send low powered messages directly to low-earth-orbit nano satellites – provides IoT functionality for industries like agriculture, asset tracking, utilities and defence. The new lab will allow the company to scale up production and further integrate that technology into more systems, with the potential, says the company, to undertake production runs of millions of units for export in the coming years.

Myriota’s $1.36 million investment is being matched by the South Australian State Government’s Future Jobs Fund, with the lab expected to create 50 high skilled software and hardware development, data networking and satellite communications jobs.

“Our low-cost IoT system has been deployed in field trials for months now, and there are hundreds of companies here and overseas interested in using our product to provide connectivity for a huge range of applications,” said Myriota CEO Alex Grant.

“This new IoT lab will enable us to build on our core technology and apply it across a wide range of industries including agriculture, defence, utilities, environmental monitoring, asset tracking and logistics.

“Our system works from any location on earth, and we look forward to taking our product global.”

The company calls its technology ‘the Holy Grail for remote IoT’ – that is, a cost-effective, long battery life, direct-to-orbit satellite IoT solution. The company is the fruit of a 2015 commercialisation project surrounding tech generated by University of South Australia.

The company won best industrial start-up at the 2017 Internet of Things World Congress in San Francisco and Best New Business at the 2017 SA Telstra Business award. The company commenced commercial trials in 2016 with commercial product being prepared for 2018 release.

The move follows the Turnbull Government’s 2017 commitment to fostering a long-term domestic space industry is Australia and attempt to gain more than its current one percent of the US$420 billion global space economy pie.

“Our National Space Agency will act as the doorway to our international space engagement and it will ensure that Australia has a strategic long-term plan that supports the development and application of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry,” Arthur Sinodinos, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, said in September.

“It is terrific to see the enthusiasm this announcement has rallied across the spectrum of space science and politics. If ever there were an opportunity for legislators and policymakers, Federal and State, to put aside partisanship and focus on the greater good of the nation and planet, it is now.”

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