Interactive Programming

Intelligent Collar Programming

GPS data is used not only for locomotion and migration, respectively the calculation of homeranges, but also to study behaviour. It is always a challenge to define the right GPS schedule for a study as two factors (study duration plan vs. detail depth) contradict each other.

Most GPS schedules are set on regular intervals which create potential problems.
Long intervals undersample locomotion and lack small scale patterns, whereas short intervals oversample resting sites and deplete the collars battery without generating much information.

We are of course aware of that dilemma and do our best to approach it.
Our solution: the intelligent collar.

How it works

Our GPS Plus and Vertex Plus collars can be programmed to automatically adapt their scheduling to the situation experienced. We defined certain trigger elements and you are able to program a specific GPS schedule for everyone of them. The collar automatically switches the scheduling depending on which trigger is present or absent. They are strictly hierarchic organised and enable you zoom into the pattern whenever needed and conserve power whenever possible.

Trigger Elements

  • No trigger present: Collar runs on the standard – energy conserving schedule
  • Trigger: Activity The collar sensor registers activity values above a user-defined threshold
    > switch from standard to the (e.g. more intense) activity triggered GPS schedule
  • Trigger: Virtual Fence The collar registers a Virtual Fence event
    > switch from standard or activity triggered GPS schedule to the Virtual Fence schedule
  • Trigger: Proximity The collar registers a Proximity event
    > switch from one of the previous 3 schedules to the Proximity schedule
  • Trigger: Mortality The collar registers a Mortality Event
    > switch from one of the previous 4 schedules to the Mortality GPS schedule

The specific GPS schedules can be complex and include rules for certain times and dates. The schedules can, if the collar includes a communication option, be changed remotely as well. You don’t have to use all triggers but can focus on some only. Some triggers can also initiate an alert message informing you about the event.

Applications examples

Wolfs can carry only a small battery cell limiting the collar life to a year or two only. They have however a clear behaviour pattern perfectly suited to be optimized by our Interactive Collar Programming. Here a very simple example refering to the GPS schedules only, whereas many trigger events can also trigger notification messages and further changes in collar settings.

Resting: Standard GPS schedule
Wolves are idle within their known home range. GPS locations do not generate much information here and we run the collar on a energy conserving GPS schedule (e.g. a fix every 3h).

Preparation: Activity GPS schedule
Wolves are active (activity above a user defined threshold) within designated home range. We intensify GPS fix rate (e.g. to fixes every 30 minutes) to see what small scale habitat they use, what they are up to and to help identify a Virtual Fence event

Into the Wild: Virtual Fence GPS schedule
Wolves enter or leave a designated (Virtual Fence) area. We further intensify the schedule (e.g. fixes every 10 minutes) to see where they are heading to. Just an exploratory trip or are they going to hunt?

Action: Proximity GPS schedule
Wolves get close to ID tagged prey and their collars pick up the signal. We boost the GPS fix rate to e.g. a fix every 8 seconds so see their small scale movement, their hunting techniques and observe the hunting success.
Please check following flyers for further details.


External Sensors

Virtual Fence