Flying stork
Flying stork

ICARUS – Tracking animals from space

ICARUS has been launched: The space-based animal tracking system of the University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (Radolfzell, Germany) is now in orbit and will soon be installed on the International Space Station (ISS).

To find out what the space module means for the exploration of animal migrations and how it can benefit our understanding of animals and our ecosystems, click on the link under “Read this...”

ICARUS (“International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space”) is a joint project of the University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (Radolfzell). The space module will make it possible to track the global migration paths of animals (e.g. migratory birds, bats, marine turtles) that have been outfitted with transmitters. Furthermore, ICARUS will allow researchers to collect environmental data (e.g. wind strength and direction as well as the distribution of virus strains) from the surroundings of these animals. ICARUS will thus not only enhance our knowledge about the interplay between animal migration and the global ecosystem, but it will also help us to potentially predict natural disasters.

Scientific director of ICARUS is Professor Martin Wikelski, one of the two directors of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell and honorary professor at the University of Konstanz. ICARUS is a joint project carried out by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Russian space agency Roskosmos and is supported by the European Space Agency ESA.