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Advancements in communications networks that connect sensors and enable data retrieval across landscapes are revolutionizing conservation fieldwork. As the infrastructure that helps our core tools talk to each other in even the most remote places, the importance of connectivity cannot be overstated. Whatever solutions you're working with - and on whatever scale - this group is the place to discuss all things related to connectivity in conservation, from fiber-optic cables to LoRa to Swarm. 

discussion

Rainforest SigFox available for use

Hi EveryoneJust FYI that right now we now have a SigFox gateway running to create an IoT network at the Los Amigos field station in lowland Peruvian Amazon.  Amazing forest,...

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Hi Roland,

This is really amazing, great to hear about your set-up! I'm just wondering what the overall cost was to set up this system? Just thinking in terms of setting up something similar in other parks and what they should expect with regard to price. Would also be great to hear about the overall effort, e.g., hours/team members required. It would be great to have this act as a blueprint for other organizations/research stations wishing to deploy a similar system within their respective national parks/areas/etc.! 

Hi Rolland,

Interested too, but why did you choose SigFox (a private network) rather than LoRa (open network)? 

Sigfox currently has some financial troubles that, don't know what it will become in the long term.

Hi Everyone,

We chose sigfox becuase it seems to have better range and is plug-play, whereas LoRa requires more custom programming and updating.  Getting a gateway cost us $2000 for a year's lease + deposit. We covered solar power.  There are also some 'minigateways' you can purchase but I don't know how they compare in range (plan to test).  So far we are happy with the performance, in that it has worked consistency with no outages  (once we stabilized the power supply).  I think the annual costs are about $10 per tag.  We are working on a paper that will describe this in more detail.  So far just using for tracking tags but also looking at a trap sensor.

cheers

Roland

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Ceres Wild Rhino application 

An update on Ceres Tags products that are being used in conservation 

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Some updates and a news report on the Malilangwe Trust application of devices; Ceres Trace and Ceres Wild
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CERES TAG

Ceres Tag sends just in time alerts and GPS location to have the power to track and trace.

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Fast Company Feature: Smart Parks

“It’s such a massive leap forwards knowing where every rhino is every morning and every evening.” Fast Company writes about Smart Parks, a Netherlands-based organization with technological solutions against poaching.

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careers

Service Designer

Love design, passionate about conversation? Want to make sure that  technologies that are being developed actually meet the needs of the people who use them? Come and work for us! 

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discussion

Remote trap sensing communications

Hi Wildlabs,   My name is Mark Butterworth, and I’m a PhD student at Cardiff University.  I am researching methods for remotely monitoring animal traps that...

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Hi,

Let me know if you want any help with solar application for this. I use small remote cameras in the field with 18650 batteries from used laptops and solar cells. The solar panels are pretty cheap, about $15 ordered from amazon. And the charge controllers are about $3 each. The solar setups work well on a mesh setup that I have here but I think as suggested that lora might be the best way to go.

Hi Mark,

This is very interesting.  HF transmitters can be very simple and low power, but I would be concerned about their long fragile antennas.  I'd contact a local ham club with old people who still do CW over QRP.

You could also look into sigfox.  It may be possible to convince the nature reserve or park to install a sigfox network specifically for their own use.  But I don't know how much it would cost.

Thanks,

-harold

Can also recommend looking into Argos: https://www.cls-telemetry.com/argos-solutions/argos-services/

The transmitter can send a few messages per day and the messages are received by Argos satellites. To prolong your battery life, I'd recommend looking into adding a solar panel to your system.

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Technical Difficulties: Can You Hear Me Now?

Gayle Pedersen
In her contribution to the Technical Difficulties Editorial Series, Gayle Pedersen discusses how the failure of underlying infrastructure can complicate conservation technology work, and how the culture of avoiding...

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Tech Tutors: How do I use satellite IoT to track wildlife & monitor remote equipment?

Hi Wildlabbers, We're getting ready for tomorrow's episode with Tech Tutor...

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Just wanted to drop in to thank Alasdair for stepping in last moment to give an amazing talk about Satellite IOT while streaming the whole thing from a satellite connection (impressive)!! 

 

Very informative! ...and happy to see all of the amazing work being done in this space. 

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discussion

Arm technologies: What do you use?

Hi Wildlabbers, We'd like to learn a bit more about how all of you in this community are using tech built with Arm technology! Let us know what project you're...

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Hi Ellie. 

This isn't necessarily wildlife but Jacinta and I used the CC1310 wireless chip with the ARM Cortex M3 inside for  a project with the International Rice Research Institute. It was to test precision irrigation on rice crops for dry planting and to remove the need for the traditional flood based planting systems. This allows rice to grow in arid regions that traditionally can't support rice as a staple crop. Water scarcity is also a worry for the institute due to global warming, hence focusing on growing rice in low-water environments. There's more information on it here
For those interested, the CC1310 uses 900 MHz and supports the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. It's one of the standard chips used in the SigFox protocol, although we mainly just used it for communications and not for SigFox implementation. We also implemented a gateway device that collected data from the networked rice paddies and sent water level data to the government server via GSM using SMS. We typically use HTTP but in the Philippines, cellular internet isn't as reliable as SMS, especially in rural areas. Both boards are based on the ARM Cortex M3.

I've attached pics of the wireless sensor boards and gateway we developed for this project as well.

Akiba

I've been tinkering with NVidia Jetson boards for about 2 years now. This is basically a small ARM computer, comes with an Ubuntu image but could run any linux I think. It's basically a mini computer with an Nvidia GPU, so you can do all sorts of things at 'the edge'.

I have been (on and off) building a bird feeder camera that would id birds and send just the text not images. Ultimately I would like to build a smart camera trap that would id animals and conserve bandwith by just uploading the data.

I started with the Jetson Nano, about 100 USD but when I started it was difficult to do things due to ARM. 

Now I am working with a Jetson NX, about 500 USD and things are way easier. Visual Studio Code runs there natively, as do many python libraries and there are even a lot of containers ready made now.

Also, AWS has Graviton instances now - an EC2 ARM computer. One of my plans is to use AWS for building, testing, etc. and now ARM is an option there too.

 

Hi Barry,

I am tinkering with similar edge devices and aspirations! I recently acquired the Jetson Nano to start testing some aspects of the BearID Project software pipeline. What were the main issues with the Nano? Is it mainly the build process (speed and memory)? The NX uses very similar CPU cores (but 6 instead of 4), bigger/faster DRAM (8GB vs 4GB) and much faster GPU (especially if you are using INT8 instead of FLOAT32). I'm also playing around with Raspberry Pi and a hardware accelerator.

The Arm-based EC2 instances on AWS should be a great help in compilation!

Full disclosure: I work for Arm, but developing on these platforms is not part of my role there. This is purely a passion project!

Ed

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discussion

Tech Tutors: How do I get started with LoRa? Connectivity in conservation

Hi everyone! This week Sean Sturley is giving us the low-down on LoRa with his episode: ...

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Thank you, Sean.

Google has found the LoRa - equipped cheetahs, and I will follow that up. 

 

Hi all, good to see more interest for LoRaWAN in conservation. Smart Parks is a not-for-profit organisation that has been promoting, building and supporting LoRaWAN solutions for conservation for at least 6 years now. Part of this is our OpenCollar innitiative, to develop and share an open-source animal tracking solution. Many of you have already supported this innitiative, and the movement is growing fast! We have come very far with the most advanced trackers and collars of all sizes (rhino, pangolin, cheetah, lion, wisent, elephant). A great example is our recent ElephantEdge campaign with Hackster.io. We are are providing this technology as affordable as we can so more wildlife can be protected. Check us out at: www.smartparks.org and www.opencollar.io 

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Making the Most of Tech Tutors Season 2!

WILDLABS Team
WILDLABS is celebrating its five year anniversary! Throughout the rest of 2020, we'll be sharing articles, community features, and case studies showcasing the incredible projects, collaborations, and successes that this...

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Talking Tracking with Xerius

Ellie Warren
How does tracking technology meet the many challenges specific to monitoring birds within their home ranges and over long distances during migration? WILDLABS community member Virginie Perilhon from Xerius Tracking...

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Connecting to MBARI's Deep-Sea Instruments

MBARI
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's MARS ocean observatory may someday make conducting deep-sea research more accessible and affordable thanks to Deep-Sea Connect, their new wireless system engineered to ...

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