Publication details

BAARA Biological AutomAted RAdiotelemetry system: New technology in ecological fiel studies



Year of publication 2010
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Informatics

Description Radiotelemetry became an important and often the only possible method to explore specific habits and behaviour of animals, but it has proven to be very demanding and time consuming especially when frequent positioning is required. Our aim was to address this issue by making the process partially automated in order to mitigate the demands and related costs. We have designed and developed a new telemetry system called BAARA (Biological AutomAted RAdiotelemetry system). It consists of two principal components - a tag with transmitter and a tracking station. A set of the tracking stations is deployed in target area and after installation each station picks up signals from transmitters and estimates a distance and direction to the signal source (tagged animal). This information is stored together with a time stamp to a persistent memory so that the log can be later downloaded for further analyses. The station is capable to track up to 30 transmitters on different frequency channels in a sequence with period of 10-20 seconds per channel. An ordinary transmitter that fits within supported frequency band might be used with BAARA, an extra option is usage of concurrently developed programmable transmitter with optimized performance and possibility to customize operational parameters such as precise frequency channel, active duty periods or the transmission parameters. BAARA has been tested within fieldwork explorations of Rousettus aegyptiacus on Cyprus where five stations were deployed on nine spots to cover an area of 80 km2 during three weeks. It has shown that effective range is approximately 1 - 1.5 kilometers depending on terrain profile. Of 24 tagged animals approximately 4000 of location fixes were recorded (compared to 500 from manual telemetry). The study was supported by grants IAA601110905, MSM0021622416.
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