ESA title

Space Innovation System to Monitor Animals

  • STATUSOngoing
  • THEMATIC AREAFood & Agriculture, Environment, Wildlife and Natural Resources

Objectives of the service

The SISMA2 project implements, deploys and tests on a large scale a cost-effective satellite-based solution for herd management data collection and sharing.

© Institute of Biological Problems of Cryolitozone of Russian Academy of Sciences 2018

This new data collection framework provides a common operating picture to users in charge of management of pastoral livestock, as well as a 360° watch to adapt management strategies to climate change and different territories.


Users and their needs

Venison meat from reindeers is an important part of the diet of rural communities in Russia and is important to economic livelihood.  But venison production has declined dramatically in the past 30 years for both domestic or wild livestock. Collecting and sharing data about herd behaviour can hopefully reverse this trend contribute to sustainability and economic viability of this industry.

There are three user segments involved in herd management:

  1. Herders/Agricultural enterprises/Natural reserves/Nomads
  2. Health officials/Veterinarians
  3. Government agencies/Scientists/Consultancies

 The service provision model is designed to meet the strategic needs of each segment as follows:

  •  SISMA/Herd guard

To assist herders and natural reserves in the daily activities, and keep reindeers safe in numbers and secure

  •  SISMA/Disease channel tool

To help vets to improve data collection and allow early detection of diseases and risk assessment

  •  SISMA/Pastoralism data hub 

To help agricultural or nature managers mitigate the impact of decreasing land availability and other conditions such as weather that affect reindeer husbandry, To assist scientists as they develop a more productive ecosystem and replenish genetic stock.

The scope of the project is to demonstrate the value of monitoring the activities and vulnerability factors of domestic and wild reindeers in Russia. The project involves the local communities in the veterinary service model and will equip 200 reindeer with tags.

Service/ system concept

SISMA2 provides a series of cost-effective space-based tools to get reindeers and local communities permanently connected and share important livestock management data amongst herders, health officials and government agencies. 

The schema given below illustrates how it works.

© CLS 2019

The working tools for the user communities are as follows :

  • Intelligent reindeer collars totransmit the animal ID, position, activity, speed, direction of movement once an hour.
    • Main characteristics: low cost, low power, adapted to wild and domestic reindeers
  • Phone/Tablets to send and receive herd management data & alerts
    • Main characteristics: a data management interface for remote workers in the field (health officials, herders).
  • SISMA Hub accessible over the internet: An inbound/outbound data hubwhich collects and processes monitoring data, stores and shares records, combines them with Earth Observations & regional information, and provides added-value information to the user ecosystem, in alert mode or in management mode.
    • Main characteristics:

- Identification, Tracking & Traceability

- Safety and security information for reindeer management

- Landcover, Relief, Hydrography, Vegetation, Weather

- Reindeer habitat, Cohabitation areas

- Statistics, indicators and trends for data, meta-data and alerts

The data will be accessible through a GIS interface to authorized users.

Space Added Value

The use of space systems to support herding is required in Northern Russia because of the large herding area, the weakness of terrestrial communication and the low population density. 

4 space systems are involved: 

  • GNSS/GLONASS navigation system

To get reference timing and positioning. 

  • Argos/Kinéis regular tracking & data collection system

To acquire information transmitted by the connected animal/herd (herd ID, animal ID, time, position, activity, speed, direction of movement and behavior state indicator). 

  • Earth observation systems (Sentinel-2)

For seamless mapping of the herds’ habitat and changing conditions in parallel to the reindeer tracking data. 

  • Iridium satellite communication (or other)

For communication with phones/tablets of herders and veterinarians as well as off the shelf IOT base stations.

Current Status

SISMA 2 (Space Innovative System to Monitor Animals) is the  follow up to the SISMA1 feasibility study. The SISMA2 project started on 1st April 2019.

Currently, the SISMA2 project is in its first sprint, priority user needs and requirements are collected for the regional context, refining the collars’ design & manufacturing for scaling up with Russian manufacturers and designing the system architecture for the SISMA Hub.

Prime Contractor(s)





Status Date

Updated: 23 May 2019