RESOLVE and Inmarsat Join Forces to Use Technology to Protect African Wildlife

Connectivity for Conservation: Inmarsat satellite technology enables RESOLVE’s TrailGuard AI anti-poaching system to operate in remote environments

In July, Inmarsat officially announced their partnership with RESOLVE to develop a revolutionary, satellite-enabled solution to safeguard endangered wildlife across the African continent. The world’s leading global mobile satellite communications company, Inmarsat, and its top-tier partner Galaxy 1 Communications will provide RESOLVE’s TrailGuardTM AI anti-poaching system with reliable network connectivity to operate in the most remote environments for wildlife conservation.


Read Inmarsat’s full press release here


Poaching is the most direct threat to the survival of endangered African wildlife such as elephants and rhinos; an affordable and reliable solution is urgently needed for park managers in wildlife parks to prevent poaching. Developed by RESOLVE’s Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions program in collaboration with Intel, TrailGuard AI is the latest version of an innovative, cryptic, end-to-end, camera-based, anti-poaching system for wildlife parks that uses artificial intelligence to detect intruders and stop poachers before they kill wildlife. Using AI “on the edge,” TrailGuard AI units deployed in the field filter out “false positive” photos triggered by moving vegetation and animals (which account for 70-90% of all images captured) and only transmit images of humans back to park headquarters for park managers to review, thus preventing data overload and significantly lowering data transmission cost.

Most African wildlife parks are vast, remote, resourced-limited, and lack cell coverage. The absence of reliable cellular connectivity has posed a major technical obstacle for parks to gather near-real time data from remote sensors, which limits the ability of park rangers and law enforcement to make timely interventions. This challenge is now overcome through the latest partnership with Inmarsat and Galaxy 1, which enables RESOLVE to access state-of-the art satellite modems at discounted prices and provides wildlife parks with a low-cost data transmission plan. The ability to affordably transmit images of humans via satellite networks in near-real time and with high reliability now enables the TrailGuard AI system to be deployed even in locations without cell connectivity, offering wildlife reserves unparalleled security intelligence required to reduce poaching and safeguard wildlife. RESOLVE plans to deploy TrailGuard AI in 100 parks over the next two years, the majority of which lack cell coverage and will rely on the partnership with Inmarsat to enable real-time alerting of potential threats to wildlife.


Selected Quotes from the Press Release

We are delighted to be joining forces with RESOLVE to help support sustainability and bio-diversity in Africa. Our collaboration will ensure that when TrailGuard detects a poacher, rangers are notified immediately of their exact location and can initiate an effective response, no matter how remote the environment.

Alastair Bovim, Vice President Managed Services, Inmarsat Enterprise


The TrailGuard AI solution acts as an early warning system, transitioning ranger teams into fully mobile, rapid-response units so that they can respond to would-be poachers and stop them in their tracks. For it to work effectively we need rock solid connectivity, which, in most remote African wildlife reserves, is only achievable with satellite. Inmarsat’s global, ultra-reliable satellite connectivity was the only solution that could help us overcome the connectivity challenges we faced and connect our smart sensors deployed out in the parks.

Dr. Eric Dinerstein, Director of Biodiversity and Wildlife, RESOLVE


Press Coverage of the RESOLVE-Inmarsat Partnership

The announcement of the RESOLVE-Inmarsat collaboration to protect wildlife has generated excitement in the communications technology industry as the first successful use case combining artificial intelligence with satellite technology for wildlife conservation. Following Inmarsat’s press release in July, this story has been covered by numerous news outlets worldwide, including Verdict, ZDNet, Africanews, Land Mobile, iTWire, and SAMENA council.


Cover Image via Public domain, Creative Commons Zero - CC0

Sanjiv Fernando and Andy Lee
October 7, 2019

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