Tracking collar and infrastructure for leopard research

Warnich, Dirk J. (2012-12)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This project targeted the development of a new tracking collar, trap telemetry system and supporting infrastructure, to aid researchers from the Cape Leopard Trust. Previously used collar products had all proven insu cient in some capacity and remote monitoring of trap sites was also required. Tracking collars are used to identify the movement patterns of the leopards and through the resulting research, assist in protecting this threatened species. In the development of the tracking collar and trap telemetry system, a high level system design was rst formulated, identifying major components that would be required. Alternative methods for implementation were then considered and the most optimal chosen. Two di erent modes of communication with the collar were envisioned and designed for. These would be used to transmit logged coordinates obtained from a GPS receiver back to researchers. A VHF terrestrial radio link was investigated, but an Iridium Satellite based solution was ultimately selected. An Iridium Satellite communications system was also used for transfer of trap state data. Ultimately, a working trap telemetry system was delivered for use by researchers. The tracking collar system had progressed to a working prototype, requiring miniaturisation and packaging before deployment. A possible packaging solution was also identi ed. The trap telemetry system, although displaying certain de ciencies, provided a capability previously unavailable to researchers. With further development, there is potential for the tracking collar to provide accurate satellite tracking and communications in a mass and price combination not previously available.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie projek het as doel die ontwikkeling van 'n nuwe opsporingshalsband, 'n lokval telemetriese stelsel en die nodige ondersteunende infrastruktuur daarvoor. As hulpmiddels vir navorsers van Cape Leopard Trust. Geen van die halsband produkte wat tot nou toe gebruik is, het voldoen aan al die nodige behoeftes nie, en dit was ook nodig om die lokvalterreine van 'n afstand te kan monitor. Die opsporingshalsbande word gebruik om die bewegingspatrone van luiperds vas te stel en die navorsing wat daarop volg, help dat 'n bedreigde spesie bewaar word. Die ontwikkeling van die opsporingshalsband en lokval telemetriese stelsel het begin met die formulering van 'n ho evlak stelselontwerp waarin die hoofkomponente wat benodig sou wees ge denti seer is. Alternatiewe metodes van bewerkstelling is daarna oorweeg en die optimale hiervan is gekies. Twee verskillende metodes van kommunikasie met die halsband is voorgestel en ontwerp. Hierdie sou gebruik word om die vasgelegte koordinate wat van 'n GPS ontvanger verkry is, na navorsers terug te versend. 'n Terrestriale radioverbinding is ondersoek, maar 'n Iridium Satelliet-baseerde oplossing is uiteindelik verkies. 'n Iridium Satelliet kommunikasie stelsel is ook gebruik vir die oordrag van data aangaande die lokvaltoestand. Uitendelik is 'n werkende lokval telemetriese stelsel gelewer vir dir gebruik van navorsers. Die opsporingshalsband stelsel was nou 'n werkende prototipe, wat slegs verklein en toepaslik verpak moes word voor dit in gebruik geneem kon word. 'n Moontlike oplossing tot die verpakkingsprobleem is ook identi seer. Die lokval telemetriese stelsel, hoewel dit steeds tekorte toon, voorsien die navorsers van voorheen onbekombare inligting. Met verder ontwikkeling is daar potensiaal vir die opsporingshalsband om akkurate satellietopsporing en kommunikasie te voorsien in 'n kombinasie van laer massa, sowel as prys, soos nog nooit voorheen beskikbaar nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71722
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