Scientists tap into satellite broadband to protect green turtles on Raine Island.

June 21, 2017 1:40 pm
turtle hands

This is part one in a series of two posts about Raine Island

A project to help save the world’s largest nesting site for thousands of green sea turtles has been bolstered with nbn™ Sky Muster™ satellite connectivity by Activ8me, Australia’s largest nbn™ satellite broadband provider.
Raine Island, on the remote northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, is the nesting site for around 60,000 green turtles every year. Spanning only 800 by 300 metres, the island attracts 90% of the vulnerable Northern Great Barrier Reef turtles, with up to 20,000 attempting to lay eggs in the sand during a single nesting season.
Because the island’s role as a turtle sanctuary has been in danger of collapse, a team of scientists has been researching and managing the island as part of the Raine Island Recovery Project.
This is a five-year collaborative project by the Queensland Government, BHP, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Traditional Owners and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Working on the island is logistically difficult. On edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Raine Island is classed as ‘seriously remote’.
There is no accommodation on the island; the only place to stay is a boat off the island, and weather can be harsh and unpredictable.
As such, data collection methods for the first couple of years were basic; researchers relied on clipboards and cameras whilst on the island and would bring the information back to the mainland project base.
Knowing there must be a better way to manage the project and get results, the team piloted internet connectivity on the island. However, with a sporadic, weak connection, the researchers couldn’t be confident in the data’s reliability.
In 2016, the Raine Island Recovery Project brought in Australia’s largest satellite broadband and registered nbn™ service provider, Activ8me, knowing the company had experience connecting Australia’s most remote, harsh environments.

“If they are going to make a difference, the researchers need to know what’s happening on the island, without physically being there all the time,” says Activ8me Chief Technology Officer Rob Gallesio. “Because the nbn™ Sky Muster™ service uses a highly reliable and fast satellite connection, they can rely on the internet even under extremely harsh climatic conditions.”

Activ8me’s solution combined the nbn™ Sky Muster service and solar and battery-powered hardware to deliver download speeds of up to 25Mbps – around five times what people were able to access on the previous nbn™ Interim Satellite Service (ISS).
Activ8me also linked the communication system with the project’s internal network and added a redundancy system for extra peace of mind in the harsh environment. With Activ8me’s Melbourne-based Customer Care service, the project team has one central point of contact for any technical support they might need.
Australian-owned Activ8me has been operating for over 15 years, and are proud to provide satellite internet connections to over 25,000 Sky Muster customers. To find out if you’re able to connect visit our website or call 13 22 88

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