A Literature Review of Recent Developments in Bluetooth networking and Animal Tracking and Monitoring. Bradley Clayton
Introduction Technology already tracks or monitors animals, people, vehicles and other objects to eliminate the need for constant human observation. These technologies need to be small, economical and consume a minimal amount of power. Bluetooth technology is being used extensively in hand-held devices and wireless computing [Pico Communications] because of its characteristics mentioned above. This project aims to use Bluetooth technology to monitor and track animals in the wild. More specifically, this project deals with the off-loading of data from a device situated on an animal. The aim of this literature survey is to investigate the Bluetooth technology, focusing on routing in Bluetooth networks, as well as current animal tracking and monitoring technologies. Current technologies used in tracking and monitoring Many of these projects make use of the Global Positioning System (GPS), Global System for Mobile (GSM) or directional radio transmission tracking. One of them is described in “Save the Elephants” GSM tracking project, sponsored by Safari.com in Kenya, which makes use of the GPS system to gather locational information of tags placed on elephants [Douglas-Hamilton, I. et al (February 2004)]. These tags also have GSM modules that allow the locational data to be downloaded periodically. Objectives of this project are to develop small tags that have a long battery life, are cheap and light. Before the safari.com project, VHF (Very High Frequency) radio was used to download the GPS data from the animals about every 3 months. Sending data using VHF requires a large amount
of power consumption, hence downloads were only done every three months. GSM technology lowers this power consumption enabling more regular data retrieval. Data, such as that elephants usually travel about 10km a day but can walk 30km or more, was collected using this technology. The Kenya wildlife service use this knowledge to plan things like human-animal interaction and fence positioning. A company called Digital Angle has developed a chip that is embedded into animals [Hostetter, J (April 2003)]. While these chips do not produce locational information, they enable a person to electronically identify an animal as well as get its current body temperature. The company is looking at using these “bio chips” to track an animal's blood pressure and hormonal changes [Hostetter, J (April 2003)]. The bio chips are very small and light but data can only be collected with a hand held reader which provides the chip with power via magnetic induction, similar to RFID technology. Most animal tracking projects are interested in the movements of animals. We are interested in the interaction of animals and possibly data concerning individual animals using the technology being developed by Digital Angle. Because we aim to only use Bluetooth technology (and not GPS), an animal's location could be roughly plotted by tagging physical positions, for example watering holes and trees. The tracking and monitoring systems above use VHF or GSM technologies to download data from animals. We want to look at the feasibility of using Bluetooth networks to download this data. Bluetooth is suited to this application because it is small, light and uses a minimal amount of power, whereas GSM and GPS devices have a short battery life and are large and heavy. In an application that does not involve animals, Ron Alterovitz from the computer
science department at Caltech University in California has done a research project involving message routing over a Bluetooth scatternet. [Alterovitz, R (2001)] His aim was to make wireless-enabled vehicles communicate while in motion. The ad-hoc properties of piconets and scatternets enable the vehicles to pass messages between them while they are in motion. The vehicles were linked up to a positioning system and set to...
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