Space tech to give 43 million Americans access to safe drinking well water 

A water dispenser with lemons.

Space tech to give 43 million Americans access to safe drinking well water  Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

Sateliot, the first satellite constellation offering 5G standard connectivity from space, has teamed up with GOSPACE LABS, a space, telecoms and IoT hardware company, to provide standard 5G NTN NB-IoT connectivity from space to its MERATCH smart solution for water management, including drinking water well owners, in the US.

Currently, 15% of the US population, which is about 43 million people, rely on private wells as their primary source of drinking water. Supply can be compromised because of natural disasters such as floods or water contamination. In 2018, the USGS found traces of contaminants in 20% of US private wells.  

MERATCH is an American Water Council Tech award-winning water management IoT solution, capable of monitoring the presence of contaminants in water by measuring pH acidity levels and temperature as well as water flow and its level when deployed in selected measurement points such as bridges. Once connected with a low latency-narrowband network, like Sateliot’s 5G satellite constellation, the system pings a notification alert when unusual situations occur, serving as an early warning system in case of upcoming floods or possible water contamination. 

Monitoring water wells today is a luxury for the 43 million US rural inhabitants because of proprietary technology from legacy carriers which is expensive. Sateliot is the first satellite operator to leverage the 3GPP standard protocol, already used by MNOs and MVNOs for their terrestrial cellular networks, which benefits the final user with an affordable connectivity cost, comparable to teh terrestrial one. 

Gianluca Redolfi, Sateliot CCO, said: “GOSPACE LABS has an outstanding record of services in water management and monitoring in Europe, and we are proud to join their mission in the US market to improve vital water access to all Americans. Sateliot’s connectivity will provide the best service to MERATCH customers, helping them monitor their wells wherever they are located and notifying them of any possible hazards.”

Pavol Turcina, GOSPACE LABS CEO, said: “Well owners and users need to know that water is safe and 100% potable at all times. With Sateliot’s nanosatellite constellation, we can guarantee that data retrieved from MERATCH sensors is up-to-date and accurate, and available worldwide. Furthermore, because our sensors are already capable of connecting Sateliot’s NTN without any hardware modifications, MERATCH solution can work seamlessly to both cellular and satellite networks at a very affordable cost”.

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