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The BAARA (Biological AutomAted RAdiotracking) system: a new approach in ecological field studies.

Řeřucha Š, Bartonička T, Jedlička P, Čížek M, Hlouša O, Lučan R, Horáček I - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: This new approach to a tracking system was tested for its applicability in a series of field and laboratory tests.BAARA has been tested within fieldwork explorations of Rousettus aegyptiacus during field trips to Dakhla oasis in Egypt.The results illustrate the novel perspective which automated radiotracking opens for the study of spatial behaviour, particularly in addressing topics in the domain of population ecology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Scientific Instruments of the ASCR, v.v.i., Královopolská 147, CZ 612 64 Brno, Czech Republic.

ABSTRACT
Radiotracking is an important and often the only possible method to explore specific habits and the behaviour of animals, but it has proven to be very demanding and time-consuming, especially when frequent positioning of a large group is required. Our aim was to address this issue by making the process partially automated, to mitigate the demands and related costs. This paper presents a novel automated tracking system that consists of a network of automated tracking stations deployed within the target area. Each station reads the signals from telemetry transmitters, estimates the bearing and distance of the tagged animals and records their position. The station is capable of tracking a theoretically unlimited number of transmitters on different frequency channels with the period of 5-15 seconds per single channel. An ordinary transmitter that fits within the supported frequency band might be used with BAARA (Biological AutomAted RAdiotracking); an extra option is the use of a custom-programmable transmitter with configurable operational parameters, such as the precise frequency channel or the transmission parameters. This new approach to a tracking system was tested for its applicability in a series of field and laboratory tests. BAARA has been tested within fieldwork explorations of Rousettus aegyptiacus during field trips to Dakhla oasis in Egypt. The results illustrate the novel perspective which automated radiotracking opens for the study of spatial behaviour, particularly in addressing topics in the domain of population ecology.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Azimuth reading error for different signal strengths (RSSI) a) in laboratory conditions and b) in the field.It is apparent that the azimuth calculation error is significantly higher in the field due to the environmental aspects.
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pone.0116785.g004: Azimuth reading error for different signal strengths (RSSI) a) in laboratory conditions and b) in the field.It is apparent that the azimuth calculation error is significantly higher in the field due to the environmental aspects.

Mentions: The results from measurement under nearly ideal conditions (referred to previously as the first measurement), featured a relatively stable performance when the RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) level lay between 50 and 100 dBa, where the mean azimuth error was less than one degree (Fig. 4a). The standard deviation increased from less than ± 2 degrees for medium-level signals (50–70 dBa) to less than ± 5 degrees for strong signals (>80 dBa). The weak signals exhibited an accuracy of 6.2 ± 6.3 degrees.


The BAARA (Biological AutomAted RAdiotracking) system: a new approach in ecological field studies.

Řeřucha Š, Bartonička T, Jedlička P, Čížek M, Hlouša O, Lučan R, Horáček I - PLoS ONE (2015)

Azimuth reading error for different signal strengths (RSSI) a) in laboratory conditions and b) in the field.It is apparent that the azimuth calculation error is significantly higher in the field due to the environmental aspects.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4340905&req=5

pone.0116785.g004: Azimuth reading error for different signal strengths (RSSI) a) in laboratory conditions and b) in the field.It is apparent that the azimuth calculation error is significantly higher in the field due to the environmental aspects.
Mentions: The results from measurement under nearly ideal conditions (referred to previously as the first measurement), featured a relatively stable performance when the RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) level lay between 50 and 100 dBa, where the mean azimuth error was less than one degree (Fig. 4a). The standard deviation increased from less than ± 2 degrees for medium-level signals (50–70 dBa) to less than ± 5 degrees for strong signals (>80 dBa). The weak signals exhibited an accuracy of 6.2 ± 6.3 degrees.

Bottom Line: This new approach to a tracking system was tested for its applicability in a series of field and laboratory tests.BAARA has been tested within fieldwork explorations of Rousettus aegyptiacus during field trips to Dakhla oasis in Egypt.The results illustrate the novel perspective which automated radiotracking opens for the study of spatial behaviour, particularly in addressing topics in the domain of population ecology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Scientific Instruments of the ASCR, v.v.i., Královopolská 147, CZ 612 64 Brno, Czech Republic.

ABSTRACT
Radiotracking is an important and often the only possible method to explore specific habits and the behaviour of animals, but it has proven to be very demanding and time-consuming, especially when frequent positioning of a large group is required. Our aim was to address this issue by making the process partially automated, to mitigate the demands and related costs. This paper presents a novel automated tracking system that consists of a network of automated tracking stations deployed within the target area. Each station reads the signals from telemetry transmitters, estimates the bearing and distance of the tagged animals and records their position. The station is capable of tracking a theoretically unlimited number of transmitters on different frequency channels with the period of 5-15 seconds per single channel. An ordinary transmitter that fits within the supported frequency band might be used with BAARA (Biological AutomAted RAdiotracking); an extra option is the use of a custom-programmable transmitter with configurable operational parameters, such as the precise frequency channel or the transmission parameters. This new approach to a tracking system was tested for its applicability in a series of field and laboratory tests. BAARA has been tested within fieldwork explorations of Rousettus aegyptiacus during field trips to Dakhla oasis in Egypt. The results illustrate the novel perspective which automated radiotracking opens for the study of spatial behaviour, particularly in addressing topics in the domain of population ecology.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus