Australian nano-satellite communications startup Myriota launched on December 4, 2018, its next-generation technology on SpaceQuest’s BRIO satellite, which will give the company the capability to collect data from many millions of small IoT devices globally, such as sensors and asset trackers.
Myriota said the launch “is an important step towards the creation of the world’s first real-time, 24/7 direct-to-orbit IoT platform.”
Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Myriota, Dr. David Haley, said in a news release that the new satellite payload would complement Myriota’s existing satellite constellation while introducing a forward link to terminals, increasing device battery life and improving communication efficiency.
“New and existing devices using Myriota technology will benefit, and we’re excited to see the impact across a variety of different sectors,” he said.
Myriota’s technology enables two-way communications between ground-based micro-transmitters and low Earth orbit (LEO) nanosatellites to share data over narrow bandwidths.
This direct-to-orbit platform enables massive-scale, low-cost communications for IoT devices across industries where IoT connectivity via traditional means is extremely challenging and expensive.
Solving the IoT connectivity problem
“The internet of things has a major connectivity problem: hundreds of millions of devices that need to communicate but don’t have cost-effective, battery friendly networks to do so. Myriota solves this problem,” Myriota CEO Dr. Alex Grant said in March 2018 when the startup closed a US$15m Series A funding round.
Myriota then said that it plans to launch more satellites and deliver large-scale IoT deployments, and expand global operations.
Among the industries being eyed to benefit in a big way is agriculture.
Goanna Ag’s Chief Operations Officer, Tom Dowling, said in the news release that farmers are becoming more reliant on data driven insights due to challenging drought conditions.
“Farmers are more reliant than ever on data driven insights to support their day to day water management, and there’s a real need for precise irrigation scheduling and optimised water use efficiency,” Dowling said.
In November 2018, Myriota said the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has deployed the first marine drifters with Myriota’s purpose-built satellite connected sensors, which record around 160 bytes of data a day including location.
Myriota transmits this to AIMS’ data centre via LEO satellites to track currents, sea surface water temperatures and barometric pressure of Australia’s oceans in real-time.
A spinoff from the University of South Australia, Myriota was founded in Adelaide, Australia in 2015 by Dr. Alex Grant and Dr. David Haley, at UniSA’s Institute for Telecommunications Research.
It now leads the development of many world-first Space 2.0 projects, including black box type recorders for Australian Army soldiers, water tank monitors for farmers, asset tracking and environmental monitoring.
The Series A investment round last March was led by Australian VC firms Main Sequence Ventures and Blue Sky Venture Capital, with Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Singtel Innov8 and Right Click Capital.
It is globally the largest round announced to date for a tech startup using Space 2.0 for IoT and also the first investment outside the United States for Boeing HorizonX Ventures.