Space tech helps monitor drinking water for 43m Americans
Barcelona startup Sateliot – which offers 5G IoT satellite connectivity from space – has joined forces with Gospace Labs to help regulate the quality of drinking water in wells located throughout North America.
Go Space will connect its IoT solution water quality testing kit, Meratch, to Sateliot’s 5G networks, so that it can function as an early warning system.
A surprising amount of US residents (43 million) rely on private wells as their primary source of drinking water, including regions such as Florida, the Great Lakes region and the Carolinas as well as pockets in California.
Problems can occur when supplies are compromised because of natural disasters such as floods or water contamination. In 2018, the USGS found traces of contaminants in 20% of US private wells.
Meratch claims to monitor the presence of contaminants in water by measuring pH acidity levels and temperature as well as water flow when deployed in selected measurement points such as bridges.
When unusual situations occur the firm’s system is able to send a notification serving as an early warning system in case of upcoming floods or possible water contamination. This is enabled via Sateliot’s low latency-narrowband network (LNN), 5G satellite constellation.
While Sateloit acknowledges that proprietary technology from legacy carriers can also provide this service, the firm claims to be able to provide this at a more “affordable” connectivity cost” – although the firm failed to offer a price comparison.
Pavol Turcina, Gospace Labs CEO added: “With Sateliot’s nanosatellite constellation, we can guarantee that data retrieved from Meratch sensors is up-to-date, accurate and available worldwide.
“Because our sensors are already capable of connecting Sateliot’s NTN without any hardware modifications, Meratch can work seamlessly to both cellular and satellite networks at a very affordable cost”.
Sateliot’s CEO, the Spanish technology entrepreneur Jaume Sanpera, has said that the aim of the firm is provide connectivity in areas that traditional networks can’t reach, which in this case, applies to around 15% of the US’s population that rely on private wells.
Last year the satellite telco operator announced that one of its nanosatellite would be caried on one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in the first quarter of 2023, with the aim of launching four more by the end of next year.
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