Dublin’s Danalto to work with ESA on IoT indoor tracking tech

7 Dec 2021

Minister Damien English, Danalto’s Mary Kathryn Midgett, Tom Kelly of Enterprise Ireland and David McDonald of Danalto. Image: Danalto

Trinity College Dublin spin-out Danalto will work with the European Space Agency to develop low-infrastructure indoor location technologies.

Dublin-based IoT software company Danalto has won a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). The 18-month contract will see it work with the ESA on low-infrastructure, indoor location technologies that complement the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

The EU is currently working to develop a GNSS programme under civilian control. In recent days, it launched two new Galileo satellites into orbit to enable more precise signals and data from its network. Galileo currently provides a range of location tech services to the EU, including the ability to pick up SOS signals and send them to emergency services.

Danalto will research location technologies and build on existing tech to improve remote indoor visibility. If validated, this work could impact several sectors.

It could enable packages to be tracked as they move between warehouses, which would streamline production processes. It could also allow for the remote location of first responders operating in hazardous environments, such as a burning building, improving safety and optimising rescue missions. In healthcare, vulnerable patients could be better monitored across hospitals or in care home settings.

Danalto’s partnership with the ESA is in line with Ireland’s National Space Strategy for Enterprise. The Government strategy, launched in 2019, plans to increase the number of “space active” Irish companies in the coming years. There are currently 85, however the strategy aims to have this at 100 by 2025.

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English, TD, said Danalto “is just one of a growing number of Irish businesses that is breaking new ground” through its relationship with the ESA.

Danalto, a Trinity College Dublin spin-out, is supported by Enterprise Ireland. According to Tom Kelly, the agency’s manager for innovation and competitiveness, the ESA contract is proof of “the potential of the internet of things to bring innovative solutions to market that make a real difference”.

“Monitoring the performance of assets and the status of their location is a vital function in both public and private entities and Danalto is a leader in this sector,” Kelly added.

The company develops products such as its FiLo positioning tool, which can serve as an alternative to traditional tracking tools. During Danalto’s contract with the ESA, it will work to develop FiLo to determine the best positioning technology, system algorithms and deployment aspects across a range of location accuracies.

“ESA have set out a clear set of questions and demonstration challenges that Danalto is well placed to address and which fully aligns with our business and technology strategies,” said the company’s co-founder and CEO, David McDonald. It plans to bring its next-generation positioning tool to the market for commercial use next year.

Danalto was founded in 2017 and raised €750,000 in seed funding the following year. In March of this year, it announced that it had raised €1m from angel investors.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic