Tilt Angle and Trajectory Sensing for Wildlife Tracking Applications
Remote tracking and observation of animals and livestock can be done by using an electronic tracking collar as developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Global Positioning System (GPS) data gathered by such a device is fairly accurate, but can often produce dubious results. The addition of an inertial measurement unit (IMU) can provide data on animal heading, velocity, and head tilt, which could offer further insight into animal activity and behavior. An IMU add-on circuit board containing an accelerometer, gyroscope, and electronic compass was designed and fabricated to be integrated into the existing tracking collar system. A data analysis algorithm was implemented in software to convert outputs from the board into a more useful format. Live field tests were performed and data was gathered, analyzed, and compared to observed animal movements. This method of gathering information will prove useful to the USDA in their ongoing studies.