SISMA: An innovative space-based solution for sustainable livestock management in Northern Russia


In 2016, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the French Space Agency (CNES) launched a challenge to qualify the potential for new markets in the field of livestock management, disease reduction, and sustainability of ecosystem services.

This project resonated with Russian scientists working with pastoral herders, natural reserves,  and ES-PAS to track reindeer herds.

Together, ES-PAS, CLS and their Russian partners began discussions about how to help the pastoral ecosystem to manage reindeer sustainably in Northern Russia.

These discussions have been ongoing and today this project has become a reality. The unique consortium of CLS, ES-PAS and the ex-subsidiary of CLS since merged with its parent company, SIRS, brings together the most qualified and experienced actors to develop and deploy a new herd management solution in Russia.


30 years’ experience in space-based systems

Historic provider of the Argos satellite system and certified Kinéis and Iridium VAR, CLS Group has more than 30 years’ experience operating space systems and providing satellite services to biologists, fishermen, NGOs and governments to help protect the environment and manage their resources sustainably.

Reindeer with a satellite tracking tag in Northern Russia.

ES-PAS, a Russian subsidiary of CLS, has built a reputation for excellence with biologists in Russia by designing robust, Argos satellite tags to track wildlife and provide data about their behavior in Arctic and sub-Arctic conditions. ES-PAS has worked hand-in-hand with reindeer herders in Yakutia, to help monitor herds remotely.

From 2017-2018, during the SISMA feasibility study, CLS and its partners designed a series of innovative space-based tools and a sustainable business model to help the pastoral ecosystem. Convinced by the potential market for this product in Russia, ESA and CNES pursued funding via the SISMA demonstration project (2019-2020), under which CLS and its partners develop cost-effective space-based tools to facilitate the management of pastoral livestock to help stakeholders cope with the future.

Enter SIRS, an old CLS’ subsidiary since merged with its parent company, that has more than 30 years’ experience producing geographical data using satellite-based or aerial observations to help local, national and international authorities with land management issues.


A space-based solution for sustainable pastoralism

With the SISMA demonstration project, CLS and ES-PAS have joined forces to make this idea a reality, combining satellite tracking, Earth observation and other space systems to support herding in Russia. This satellite-based approach is crucial due to the large territories, the weakness of terrestrial communication and low population density.

SISMA provides easy, reliable and cost-effective space-based tools to collect data and provide reindeer observations, including habitat and conditions. When injected in the SISMA Data Factory, these data are transformed into actionable intelligence to support sustainable management tailored to the needs of each stakeholder.

managing pastoralism SISMA
User-friendly software to help manage reindeer herds remotely and contribute to sustainable pastoralism


About the stakeholders

SISMA addresses the needs of the entire pastoralism ecosystem in Northern Russia, primarily the following four user communities.

  • Herders, Agricultural entreprises, Natural reserves, Nomads
    Assists herders and natural reserves in their daily activities, and limits losses.
  • Health officials, Veterinarians
    Integrate herders into the veterinary services and improves mechanisms for traceability, disease detection and risk management.
  • Government agencies
    Helps government agencies manage unsustainable commercial hunting, land availability and other environmental conditions that affect reindeer husbandry.
  • Scientists, consultancies
    Assists scientists/consultancies as they develop a more productive ecosystem and replenish genetic stock.


Project partners

The SISMA project is supported by the French Space Agency, CNES, and the European Space Agency, ESA, within the framework of an ARTES demonstration project. CLS is the prime contractor along with ES-PAS and SIRS, WWF and other Russian partners have contributed to the design of the SISMA solution and are part of the SISMA ecosystem.

SISMA project partners

Contact us


Learn more:

SISMA Brochure (2019)
SISMA Feasibility Study (2017-2018)
Wildlife monitoring with ARGOS/KINEIS transmitters
Contribution of SISMA space Technologies for Livestock and Food Security
SISMA at Copernicus Global Land conference (24 oct 2018)
Tracking reindeers in Russia with Argos (19 jan 2018)
The challenges of reindeer herding in Russia (17 oct 2017)