University of Montana Case Study
Environmental researchers harness mass drone data with Lyve™ Mobile.
We are proud to help power research endeavors that are big as our planet.
When two environmental research teams encountered similar issues around their massive drone-gathered data—detrimentally slow data transfer times and unreliable storage—Lyve Mobile shuttles took flight. The result? Quick, frictionless, secure transfers; long-term reliability; and, ultimately, real-time data analysis that enabled each team to move science forward.
For both teams, Lyve Mobile facilitated the speedy travel of massive data sets from fragile ecosystems at the edge to the cloud.
Using Lyve Mobile shuttles, researchers could back up data in the field and then physically transport those backups to an off-site data center.
Featuring enterprise-class encryption and a rugged transport case, the Lyve Mobile shuttles allowed teams to confidently transport their data.
Real-time ingestion enabled drone data to be quickly offloaded while the e-ink screen facilitated in-field transfers without the use of a computer.
Insights from massive unstructured data sets can better our planet’s wellbeing. Take Jennifer Fowler’s team. As assistant director of the Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), a NASA higher education program, and director of University of Montana’s Autonomous Aerial Systems Office, she’s busy developing a system for using drones to gather wildfire data, which can be used to help combat the blaze, guide evacuations, and direct emergency resources.
Then there’s Jason Hanlon of the Nature Conservancy, a frequent collaborator with Fowler, whose own team uses drones to study population counts of sage grouse. As a species native to sagebrush territory, their numbers speak an inordinate amount about the ecosystem’s wellbeing and serve as a litmus test, indicating where to direct care.
Although the two teams had often worked together in the past, this time around they did not so much connect over science—but geeked out over data storage. The latter, they learned, can advance the former.
Both Fowler and Hanlon’s teams were frustrated by waiting for massive data sets to upload to the cloud. Finding a faster method and eliminating the endless delays that impeded their research was crucial for each project’s success. They also needed security so that data wasn’t lost to the tough demands of field work, as well as long-term reliability so that they could continue pulling insights from their data for years to come.
Current solutions simply weren’t working. Fowler’s researchers were tasked with uploading massive volumes of data to the cloud—something that could take hours upon hours. Not exactly an ideal setup for gathering real-time insights about natural disasters like wildfires. For Hanlon’s bird counting project, slow external drives meant idle hours in the field, and lesser-quality drives meant the potential for data loss—a scenario that, unfortunately, he was all too familiar with.
Once equipped with Lyve Mobile Shuttle—donated by Seagate in support of wildfire-fighting efforts—Fowler’s team was able to easily bring data from the field back to the office, plug in to their network, and instantly make their data accessible to the broader team. The shuttle’s ability to handle loads of data and enable quick, frictionless, secure transfers ultimately brought the group closer to its real-time analysis goals.
When Fowler got wind of Hanlon’s struggles, she sent him one of her shuttles and it flipped his storage process entirely. Because of Lyve Mobile’s capacity and speed, it immediately became his repository for downloading. Thanks to its ruggedness, it’s a perfect solution for keeping data alive in the field.
Armed with the ability to move drone data from edge environments back to their offices in a fast, secure, efficient way, Fowler and Hanlon’s teams were able to propel their studies forward exponentially. For Fowler, that meant tapping into real-time data analysis which would contribute to battling forest fires. For Hanlon, it meant he could lean into algorithms and reduce the potential for human error when it came to counting sage grouse and, ultimately, many other species as he continues expanding his work to other ecosystems.
And for both teams, the potential for data loss in the field dramatically reduced while the potential for long-term data analysis increased tenfold.
“I can tell you that thanks to Lyve Mobile we saved hours and hours, both obtaining the data and then distributing it internally. We immediately put that time to good use doing data analysis.”
Store and move data to and from emerging edge environments with rugged, secure storage that works with or without a computer.