Video of the Month: Drone Ranger - Signal Processing for a Smart Savannah

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Video of the Month: Drone Ranger - Signal Processing for a Smart Savannah

In order to protect endangered rhinos, the Kenya Wildlife Service has recently teamed up with the US-based Stimson Center and Linköping University in Sweden in a project called Ngulia, named after the Kenyan rhino sanctuary where the technology is to be implemented. The aim is to investigate how new technology and signal processing algorithms can be combined to create a smart savannah and to help stamp out poaching.

In this project, heterogeneos sensors, e.g. smart-phones, radar systems, heat-detection cameras, drones, microphones and gunshot detectors will be placed out on the reserve to keep track of the movements of both the animals and intruding poachers [1,2]. For example, it is possible, using heat-sensing cameras to monitor the area in the night; and with the aid of carefully-placed mobile telephones that also detect shots, the poachers can rapidly be located. Also, in a second phase, the use of unmanned aircraft is invisioned [3].

Research with the aim of finding smarter algorithms that can carry out positioning that works in real time and does not consume much battery power of the mobile equipment is currently undertaken at Linköping University’s Department of Electrical Engineering.
A smart savannah testbed has been set up recently at the Kolmården Wildlife Park in Sweden. “We can show what’s happening to the wild animals on the savannah. It’s good for Kolmården and their visitors, and good for us,” says Professor Gustafsson, who will be visiting Kenya this autumn to see an initial version of the smart savannah in action [4].

More information:

[1] Kolmården Wildlife Park
[2] Kolmården 3D Model
[3] HiQ Magazine 2015

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