WILDSENSING: A Hybrid Framework of Mobile and Sensor Nodes for Wildlife Monitoring

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Computing Service (New Museum Site)


Technological advances in Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are envisaged to allow the dense deployment of nodes with sensing, communication and processing capabilities in large areas for monitoring purposes. In this project we offer an alternative to plain multi hop data forwarding through the sensor network. Our approach suggests the forwarding of sensor data and its storage in selected nodes (storage nodes) from where the data will be collected later on by roaming mobile nodes. This new operational setting will leverage recent advances in mobile technology to relieve the sensor network from heavy multi-hop communication tasks. It will exploit the vast availability of a variety of different mobile devices (e.g., phones, pdas and domain specific wireless-equipped devices such as health monitors) and the potential for user or unmanned vehicle mobility. Mobile devices are equipped with one or more wireless network interfaces (Bluetooth, 802.11 etc), which makes them able to connect and interact with storage nodes in radio range, in an ad hoc manner.An application that would particularly benefit from continous monitoring using sensor nodes is wildlife monitoring. One of the primary benefits of this new technology will be to offer biologists the means to monitor animals more effectively. The animals too will benefit through the refinements to welfare that these small andefficient RFID devices provide. This entire technology will permit a wholesuite of new and more detailed questions about animal movements and spatial behaviour to be answered.Current approaches to wildlife monitoring and conservation often still rely on labour intensive techniques for making observations of animal behaviour or for tracking animal movements with established (but outmoded) VHF telemetry equipment. The typical mode of monitoring is to send staff to every single sensor node in the field, to collect sensor readings. The raw data is collected by staff, brought together in a lab, and processed in a centralized manner. The heavy reliance on field-staff for animal monitoring currently incurs considerable employment costs and overheads for ancillary equipment. The use of personnel working alone at night in forests also has significant health and safety implications, and the scrutiny of the Health and Safety Executive is likely to jeopardise many of these protocols in the future.


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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/E012914/1 22/01/2007 29/02/2008 £360,946
EP/E012914/2 Transfer EP/E012914/1 01/03/2008 31/07/2010 £250,335
Description We studied animals life through sensors
Exploitation Route By using technology and analysis in other studies
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment