On Earth Day and every day, implanted radio tags with satellite transponders track endangered species so conservationists can learn more about their habits and habitat. For sea creatures like whales and dolphins, this means studying the impact of threats including water pollution, noise pollution, and fishing nets.
However, such data-gathering is often easier said than done. The volume of the world’s oceans is a staggering 1.4 billion cubic kilometers. The current network of satellites is limited in terms of coverage and the speed of data transmission.