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Sensors / Feed

Want to talk about sensors that don't quite fit into any of our tech-specific groups? This is the place to post! From temperature and humidity to airflow and pressure sensors, there are many environmental sensing tools that can add valuable data to core conservation monitoring technologies. With the increasing availability of low-cost, open-source options, we've seen growing interest in integrating these kinds of low bandwidth sensors into existing tools. What kinds of sensors are you working with?

discussion

Solar panels in the tropics

We are deploying automated systems in the topics and hope to use solar panels, but this closed canopy in most places I'm seeing this as a challenge.Past the obvious: 'find a...

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You may want to do site surveys and measure solar panel output over a few days for various potential locations. Depending on the solar panel, you do not need full light to get full capacity. My main recommendation would be to increase the battery capacities or add spare batteries and just use the solar panels to supplement the battery life. 

Hi Tom,

I'm with Akiba, you have to test.  A collaborator has deployed solar-augmented kit in secondary jungle and some of them got enough light, and others didn't, so it can work.  The open circuit voltage of solar panels doesn't change a whole lot in dim light, but the current drops drastically.  So you would choose an oversize panel of the same voltage (or a bit higher).

Thanks

I've been intrigued by this topic. Thinking about ways you could use drones or some kind of launcher to deploy panels above the canopy. Sadly I live in the great white north so I have no way of testing any concepts. Maybe even some kind of solar balloon that could float above the canopy. Interesting design problem.

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discussion

Interview for Technologies in Conservation

Dear Wildlabs community, my name is Nikolas and I am a Master's Student from Lisbon. Like many of you, I grew up with a great passion for the wildlife that we are surrounded...

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I'd be happy to chat with you if you wanted! My expertise is within passive acoustic monitoring particularly. The Conservation Tech Directory might be useful for you in identifying relevant actors within the space.

My original background is in ecology and conservation, and am now in the elected leadership of the Gathering for Open Science Hardware which convenes researchers developing open source tech for science. I am not working on a specific piece of technology right now, but am happy to contribute some higher-level views for your interview if that helps.

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Link

New paper - Real-time alerts from AI-enabled camera traps using the Iridium satellite network: A case-study in Gabon, Central Africa

Sending real-time alerts from ecological sensors such as camera traps in areas with poor data connectivity is complex and involves integrating a large number of potentially complex hardware and software components. Our results demonstrate that these components can be successfully integrated to achieve reliable, near real-time alerts from camera traps under challenging field conditions.

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discussion

Help - Innovative ways to track elephant movement

Hi, I am working on a study to track wild elephant movement within an overlayed matrix of crop fields. We seek to understand how various landscape variables impact crop-raiding...

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Why would you want to avoid alerting the rangers ?

You don't need high tech for this; elephants leave very obvious tracks and sign. 

Hi Tyler,

Would like to introduce you to Ceres Tags products

  • Ceres Tags products come in boxes of 5, 10 and 24. 
  • There are some software partners such as Earthranger, Mapipedia and possibly CiboLabs that would be able to assist you with your mapping vegetation requirements
  • Ceres Tag does not require any towers, base stations and infrastructure. This allows you to see any movements from the heard outside of their normal herd (boundary alerts), and you will not be disturbing any of the flora and fauna with infrastructure set up. 
  • For the timing you are looking at, Ceres Wild pings directly to satellite 24 times a day. For Ceres Trace and Ceres Ranch there are 4 within 24 hours. Taking into consideration, when you set up alert areas, you will get them directly to your phone/laptop via your software of choice
  • Ceres Ranch is a reusable tag that has just been launched. Use it on this project, remove the tag and then use the tag on your next project
  • The software you choose will assist with the history of your animal movements. Ceres Tag is integrated with 11 software partners and in-development with 18 software partners https://cerestag.com/pages/software-partners
  • Understanding it is a short-term project, you would be able to use Ceres Tags products without the additional expense of setting up and removing infrastructure- towers, gateways
  • With Ceres Tag, you are purchasing the box of tags and picking a suitable software to deliver the information you require. On average, a box of 10 Ceres Trace Tags, is the same as 1 LoRaWAN tower. 

 

I just came across this interesting paper in which seismic monotoring of animals like elephants was mentioned. 

This is the study refered to:

Cheers,

Lars

 

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careers

Junior Electrical Engineer (Hardware)

As the FieldKit hardware ecosystem grows, Conservify is seeking a Junior Electrical Engineer to assist with testing, troubleshooting, prototype development, and developing production test fixtures for our growing...

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careers

Senior Software Engineer

Conservify is seeking a hands-on Senior Software Engineer with front end and back end experience developing rich web and mobile applications, and a strong desire to build a best-in-class product that stands out in both...

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discussion

Cameras - pros and cons

So, what makes a good camera for an autonomous camera trap for insects?We use a web camera in our system, which seems to work well a lot of the time, it produces...

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Hi Liz, unfortunately you will still need a Raspberry Pi as host for the OAK-1 camera to reproduce our hardware setup. It's also possible to use another Linux-based system (e.g. Raspberry Pi alternatives), but I didn't test this myself and the setup process will be different to our documentation (and probably not so straightforward). I'm planning to publish the documentation website in the next weeks, but I can already send you detailed information about putting together the hardware if you are still interested.

Hello,

 

I'm working on a light weight light trap based on Bjerge et al 2021, however I opted to use an ArduCam 64mp (9152 x 6944 resolution). Designed for the pi specifically and at $60 it checks many of your criteria. I haven't put everything together yet so I can't speak for white balance and power usage, but the autofocus appears to work well from initial tests, and it is tiny.

 

Cheers,

Hubert

Awesome! it would be great to hear how you get on, maybe you can share your results here when you have them. Is the camera only for the Pi? That could be a problem for scaling as Pis are quite hard to come by at the moment.

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discussion

Song Meter Micro experience?

Hi everyone, First off, what a great community this is! I only recently found out about it, and it seems like a game changer, especially for early career folk like me.I was...

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Thanks for this Carly. I didn't know the Swifts were for sale!? I've been curious about them before, but only ever seen them advertised as "for lease" from the Cornell Lab's website. Ah well... I've got the Micros now, and I'm sure they'll be fine. Might still shoot an email over to Cornell about those though, the battery life potential could make them great long-term soundscape monitors.

So they technically are "leased" but it's expected you won't return them. I think they have to use that wording to maintain their non-profit status or something like that. 

yes, I meant  144h of recording at 22kHz. Our schedule was 7h/day = about 3 weeks. In general the schedule type doesn't matter, only the recording time and the sampling rate.  When the device sleeps between the recording, it consumes almost no battery. 

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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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discussion

Using lidar to 3d scan animal burrows

I'm using the LiDAR Scanner in my iPad to scan black-footed cat burrows in Namibia, but I want to construct a probe with a small LiDAR Scanner on the head to scan deeper. Does...

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here's an example of what I'm doing.

 

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discussion

Mangrove soundscape

Hello everyone, I am currently working on the restoration of mangroves in an area of Colombia. I want to do an acoustic monitoring...

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You might check out the devices listed in the Conservation Tech Directory - you can search for 'acoustic recorder' or 'ARU' or something like that.

The most common off-the-shelf models (other than Frontier Labs' BARLTs mentioned above😊) are Open Acoustic Devices Audiomoths & Hydromoths (which may be particularly useful for you since they come in completely watertight cases that can be stuck underwater for deployments), Wildlife Acoustics' SongMeter series, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Swift units.  

 

Camilo--

Are you interested only in airborne sounds or do you want to deploy hydrophones? That decision would inform a lot of other decisions about your purchase of equipment, as would having a clearer picture of your budget.

Hi there Camilo, 

What an interesting project! If you are looking for a lower cost, but effective tools for acoustic monitoring you might want to look into two options: 

SoundTraps - are very commonly used and perform quite well: 

SonarPoints - these are also a great instrument option: 

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discussion

Avian nest box monitoring 

Hi. I’m hoping there’s a guru out there who can advise on tech for monitoring conditions inside avian nest boxes? Links to data loggers and endoscopes they’ve used successfully...

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Maybe this is a starting point. Any idea if this product would work inside the box. Kestrel DROP D3 Wireless Temperature, Humidity & Pressure Data Logger https://amzn.eu/d/5VdQwtA  

I'd be interested in any camera monitoring setups that can be used inside a nest box. Most camera traps are too bulky for this purpose. All the devices I've looked at either need a wired connection or a wifi network to transmit images. I want one that can store all info to an SD card and preferably be solar powered. Obviously infrared or starlight sensitivity. Sound recording would be a bonus for some bird monitoring I want to do.

Done lots of this over the years and it depends on the species really. If you want incubation behaviour  and hence success or otherwise using temperature then the Thermocron IButton DS1921G is perfect. The new Blue Maestro is an option I became aware of this year but I haven't tested at scale.

In terms of cameras and endoscopes I've tailored many off the shelf products and built a few from scratch. When I get chance I'll have a look around and see what is still available.

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