Wireless animal sensor node
Wireless sensor networks can provide farmers with real-time measurements of parameters such as soil moisture, crop health, and animal movement. This data will help inform practices for sustainable agriculture and help farmers to more accurately and effectively control activities such as irrigation, planting, stock movement, and pesticide application. Networks of nodes with both sensors and actuators will eventually not only monitor the agricultural environment but also control it intelligently.
A new wireless animal sensor node has been designed and developed by the CSIRO. Existing sensing systems, both commercial and previous CSIRO models, rely on batteries in order to log and process the high rates of sensory data from the livestock and eventually run out of energy. The new wireless animal sensor nodes utilise much less energy and has a renewable energy source in the form of solar power. There is also a requirement for new sensors such as audio and ultrasonic to enhance detection the animal’s behavior. The Ichnaea wireless animal sensor node has a number of new key features and specifications including: a low powered micro-controller with a radio transceiver communication; GPS tracking modules with up to 10Hz performance rates; 9-axis motion tracking device including 3-axis gyros, accelerometer and magnetometers; pressure and air temperature sensing; audio and ultrasonic sensor interface; animal temperature sensor interface; solar power input with a on-board Li-ion battery charger; micro SD Flash memory data storage; efficient power supply; small size and weight.