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EU’s satellite IoT project to monitor water quality of Croatian oyster farms

27 March 2023

New EU-funded initiative to help reduce the digital divide between urban and rural areas.

Astrocast, a global satellite IoT network operator, has announced that it is participating in the XGain initiative. Its satellite IoT (SatIoT) technology and network will be deployed within an aquaculture project in Dalmatia, Croatia to monitor water quality within remote oyster farms. 

The XGain project has been set up by the EU to foster the sustainable, balanced, and inclusive development of rural, coastal and urban areas with technology. 

It achieves this for suitable organisations and projects by providing relevant stakeholders with access to a comprehensive inventory of smart XG, last-mile connectivity and edge computing solutions, as well as appropriate assessment methods. 

The XGain project currently involves a consortium of 17 partners. This includes Benco Baltic, which is responsible for driving the aquaculture project in which Astrocast is participating.

Further, the XGain programme provides those involved with a Knowledge Facilitation Tool on which to draw. This tool enables XGain to facilitate business model development for participating organisations. It supports the decision-making during the selection of an ecosystem of appropriate technologies, to suit the various projects and initiatives for various organisations. For example, selecting suitable connectivity and edge processing solutions for projects. 

In Croatia, Astrocast will provide its expertise in SatIoT, along with access to its communication modules, to support this aquaculture project. It will allow key water parameters to be monitored at an oyster farm near Sibenik – and showcase how data can be retrieved from devices – sensors – located in such remote locations. 

The project also demonstrates how an extended network infrastructure, supplemented by LoRaWAN and Satellite Communications can be used to transmit data from offshore sensors to a central monitoring system. 

It is important to point out, too, that the XGain initiative, and associated projects, typically aim to address the connectivity inequalities of rural areas. This sees them empower rural communities by providing increased access to adequate enabling technologies. 

This aquaculture use case in Croatia demonstrates the powerful need and use of SatIoT technology to benefit organisations – highlighting the key potential that technology offers to improve the economic and environmental performance within the agricultural and forestry sectors too. 

Fabien Jordan, CEO of Astrocast, says: "Astrocast is excited to participate in the XGain project and support this aquaculture development in Croatia. The project focuses on providing farmers with technology tools to scale up their activities, of which connectivity is more important than ever, as it can provide them with the insights that they need about their projects, to operate them more effectively. 

“So, we are proud to contribute with our expertise and technology to this important initiative. Especially as it aligns with our business values too."   

Martynas Velicka at Benco Baltic, adds, "Benco Baltic is pleased to work with Astrocast in the aquaculture use case in Croatia. We believe the use of SatIoT technology will bring valuable insights into the water parameters of the oyster farm and help improve its performance." 

The XGain project began in September 2022 and will last for three years. Astrocast's involvement in the project and support of this aquaculture use case in Croatia underscores its commitment to providing satellite-based IoT solutions that help bridge the digital divide in rural areas.

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