Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology, Prelims
Why in news?
The International Space Station, orbiting some 240 miles above the planet, is about to join the effort to monitor the world’s wildlife — and revolutionise the science of animal tracking.
ICARUS – Details
- A large antenna and other equipment aboard the orbiting outpost, installed by spacewalking Russian astronauts in 2018, are being tested.
- This will assist scientists and conservationists and provide more detailed information on the health of the world’s ecosystems.
- The new approach, known as ICARUS — International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space — will be able to track animals across far larger areas.
- ICARUS has also shrunk the size of the transmitters the animals wear.
- These changes will allow researchers to track flocks of birds as they migrate over long distances instead of monitoring only one or two birds at a time
- ICARUS combines off-theshelf technology, which includes solar and GPS units, and new technology specifically designed for tracking small animals.
- Researchers will attach solar-powered bio-loggers to animals.
- Far smaller than other technology, these sensors can hitch a ride on an array of animals and insects, like locusts, songbirds and baby tortoises.
- Most tracking technologies can’t be attached to creatures that weigh less than 100 grams.
-Source: Times of India