Real-Time Sensing Through the Continent: Towards Monitoring Migratory Birds Using Multi-Modal Wireless Sensor Networks
Low-cost wireless sensor networks offer novel information gathering and research opportunities for conservation efforts. In this paper, a multi-modal wireless sensor network is presented for monitoring the migration of Whooping Cranes, an endangered species that conducts an annual migration of 4, 000 km between southern Texas and north-central Canada. The developed network includes a novel tracking platform, which exploits multi-modal sensing and communication techniques for robustness and real-time information delivery during the bird's migration on a continental scale. A complete monitoring system is developed to acquire and visualize the data delivered by this platform in real time for effective use by ecologists who study these iconic birds. Moreover, controlled tests are conducted to evaluate the performance of novel components in the system.