Authors: Arthur Fender Coelho Bucker, Pedro Orii Antonacio, Matteus de Oliveira Car
Oriented by: Marcelo knorich zuffo, Laisa Caroline Costa de Biase
Project time frame: 1.5 years (August 2018 - March 2020)
The protection of sea turtle species and the need to fulfill the current lack of data regarding the life of sea turtles and their interactions with the environment are topics of major relevance from the scientific and environmental points of view. Most of the available monitoring methods use satellite communication systems, which requires high transmission power and high-gain antennas; features that reduce the autonomy, durability and scalability of the modules. This study presents the development and validation of low-cost and high durability monitoring modules using LoRa communication in decentralized and distributed networks.
Materials and Methods
The process of developing the proposed modules occurred in the following stages:
- Development of 2 versions of a virtual simulator to assess the proposed modules’ communication viability.
Construction of 4 functional versions of the monitoring modules. On-field testing (transmission distance testo n the sea and physical endurance test on real sea turtles) with the functional modules and gateways built during the project.
- Development of a web platform to display the collected sea turtle data.
The simulation results show that the proposed system is able to establish an efficient data collection, even monitoring sparse turtles (one sea turtle every 33.31km²) with low breathing rate (1%). Successfully collecting 85% of the produced data while avoiding memory overflow in the modules. The module developed was able to detect Immersion and transmit the collected data during the breathing motions of the turtle. Regarding energy consumption, the module proved to be theoretically self-sufficient. Field tests had shown that the device can be attached in a turtle in less than 60 seconds and remained fixed for more than 30 days (test period). The preliminary tests using LoRa Technology indicated that the developed modules are capable of communicating at distances of up to 4550m at sea level with another module and up to 12005m with the gateway on land. Such results surpass the hypotheses made for the simulator.
Throughout the project, major advances and results were achieved towards the development of a low-cost and highly durable electronic monitoring module. However, at the present time, tests are still necessary for a better and more rigorous validation not only of the current module version, but also of the data receiving and transmitting systems