Satellite based monitoring

28.Mai 2021

A three-year European Space Agency study will look at the potential of satellite‑based monitoring technologies in reducing risks posed by geohazards.

A consortium of Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications with SINTEF, one of Europe's largest independent research organisations, and fellow Norwegian company Geonor has been awarded a three-year contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a natural disaster early warning system.

Using Inmarsat’s award winning global L-band satellite network the consortium will develop a new government grade Internet-of-Things (IoT) solution that can provide early warnings in the event of a natural disaster, even in the most remote locations. This new satcom‑IoT technology has two important advantages over existing solutions: global coverage and security, thus making it extremely suitable for government applications.

SINTEF already has significant expertise in IoT and geohazards developed over several years through research projects such as KlimaDigital and Klima 2050.

“The objective is to demonstrate the use of a secure satcom‑IoT solution that will support civil government users to help reduce risks from geohazards, such as landslides, rock falls, avalanches, debris flow and floods,” said senior SINTEF researcher Ivan Depina. “Inmarsat’s unique global coverage allows us to install monitoring equipment anywhere around the globe, which is of crucial importance for monitoring remote and inaccessible areas threatened by geohazards.”

The efficiency of IoT technology allows for monitoring over long periods of time, extending to several years, and yet requires low power use as well as low maintenance requirements. The Inmarsat communications link is also supplied with world-leading cyber security, which is a key factor in the development of monitoring solutions for geohazards. Security-hardened IoT solutions will be developed for this project, which will benefit from Inmarsat’s secure space and ground network.

“We are delighted to be working with SINTEF and Geonor on this ESA-supported project,” said Nick Shave, Inmarsat’s Vice President of Strategic Programmes, Global Government. “Providing critical safety of life services that are secure and reliable for our government customers is central to Inmarsat’s mission. Norway can experience thousands of landslides every year and we are keen to see how this ESA pilot can make a positive impact to public safety.”

The government IoT solution is capable of monitoring a range of geohazards, such as landslides and flooding. The Norwegian pilot will be monitoring landslides in the Trøndelag region of central Norway. The area is highly susceptible to various types of geohazards events due to the topographic, geological, hydrological and meteorological conditions characteristic for this region.

The solution is supported by ESA as a part of the "Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S)" programme, which is a new component in ESAs advanced research in telecommunication systems (ARTES). The programme aims to transform R&D investments to successful commercial products and services. The project is also supported by the Department for Energy and Water (NVE) and the UK Space Agency and Norwegian Space Agency.

Further information


SINTEF COMMUNITY solves challenges linked to the entire construction process. The institute offers specialist expertise in technical fields ranging from architecture and construction physics to the management, operation and the maintenance of buildings, water supply, and other forms of infrastructure.

SINTEF Community

Ivan Depina /Kathrine Nitter
Tel: +47 40 389 387

About Geonor

Geonor manufactures and sells geotechnical, hydrological, meteorological and environmental instruments for remote monitoring.

Since its establishment in 1957, Geonor has been a pioneer in the development of sensors for geotechnical and meteorological applications. Our proven solutions are constantly developed by combining the new sensors, wireless communications and Internet-based solutions such as IoT.

Geonor delivers a wide range of instrumental solutions for the monitoring of natural forces that threaten society's infrastructure. Climate change and more extreme weather increase the need for automated monitoring and additional measuring points.

Geonor AS

Øyvind Klevar, CEO
Tel: +47 92883829

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat is the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications. It owns and operates the world’s most diverse global portfolio of mobile telecommunications satellite networks, and holds a multi-layered, global spectrum portfolio, covering L-band, Ka-band and S-band, enabling unparalleled breadth and diversity in the solutions it provides. Inmarsat’s long-established global distribution network includes not only the world’s leading channel partners but also its own strong direct retail capabilities, enabling end to end customer service assurance.

The company has an unrivalled track record of operating the world’s most reliable global mobile satellite telecommunications networks, sustaining business and mission critical safety & operational applications for more than 40 years. It is also a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications, sustaining its leadership through a substantial investment and a powerful network of technology and manufacturing partners.

Inmarsat operates across a diversified portfolio of sectors with the financial resources to fund its business strategy and holds leading positions in the Maritime, Government, Aviation and Enterprise satcoms markets, operating consistently as a trusted, responsive and high-quality partner to its customers across the globe.

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Jonathan Sinnatt/Matthew Knowles
Corporate Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 7728 1518/1355  

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