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Animal Detection Systems Testbed Research News

Researchers traveled to the Transcend facility to install another animal detection in the RADS testbed area. This system consists of a buried cable that detects large mammals when they move across the cable. The system is manufactured by Magal Senstar from Ontario, Canada. The buried cable is placed in a trench and wrapped in sand and geotextile 9 inches below the surface. The system generates an invisible electromagnetic field and if a large animal crosses the cable it causes a disturbance in this electromagnetic field. The electrical conductivity, size and speed of the animal all affect the magnitude of the disturbance. However, the threshold that needs to be met to declare an “alarm” or “detection” is adjustable and can be set depending on the size of the animal one wishes to detect. Detection messages are transmitted to a computer in the research trailer at the testbed where they are saved in files for later analysis.

Some state DOTs have installed animal detection systems along road sections that have a history of wildlife vehicle collisions. Other DOTs are considering the implementation of animal detection systems. However, it is very difficult for animal detection system vendors or DOTs to test the reliability of these systems under a variety of environmental conditions. WTI’s unique test bed for animal detection systems was constructed in 2006 to measure the reliability of different types of animal detection systems. It consists of an enclosure for livestock (horses, llamas, and sheep) and infrared cameras that record the location of the animals in the enclosure. The individual detection systems in the enclosure save the date and time of each detection, and by comparing the detection logs with the camera images the researchers are able to investigate the reliability of the different systems. Contact Marcel Huijser