GNSS - GPS - GLONASS
To know where things happen is really important to almost any system monitoring things on the field. That is especially true for Big Cat Brother, both to track static things (such as camera locations) or mobile devices. Geo-localization could also be achieved by using the LoRaWAN infrastructure, there are some ways of triangulating the position using the transceiver signals. There are a few articles on Researchgate about this last topic.
While this could work, GPS or any other Global Navigation Positional System (GNSS) is the natural way of getting those services. GPS is not only important to get the position of your devices, it is also important in the case you use systems without real time clocks. The Sony Spresense and the Arduinos Portenta have a RTC, many other boards don’t have a real time clock. It is not a huge a problem, you could add a small card and a battery to have the time but it will make your device more complex and you will have to care about yet another battery. So, GPS (or whatever satellite system you use depending on your location in the world) will give you the position and a time you can trust, at this point is when using a deterministic RTOS is vital, because you can trust in the proper device synchronization, I won't dig into the details but let me just say that precise time division is important to build communication protocols.
You will know when a tracked subject
remains or leaves the designated zone.
GPS is also great for another thing: I am not a big fan of tracking devices on animals, but I have to admit that they could provide important information about animal habits and displacements, that helps to define safe corridors for them. That said, when you are dealing with dangerous wild animals (See what the Jaguar has to say about what I said), GPS has a another great feature that some people call safe zones or Geo fences. By using this feature you can define an area one the ground so you can get alerts when the tracked subjects “escapes” the zone, this is highly important for two reasons: avoid clashes between people and wild animals and detect if your device is moved from its locations (there are other protection you can use as well such ass gyroscopes, accelerators, contact sensors) Poachers won’t doubt a second before damaging the equipment that could be tracking their illegal activities. Edge technology will give them a hard time.
Just as a kind of dispersion or related idea for a related problem; the same auto-protection techniques like vibration, displacement, etc can be used to protect sample trees on forests, those sensors can be used to prevent illegal deforestation (the machinery sounds could be relevant too). The tech is there, Machine Learning and other recognition techniques working at the edge can handle that level of processing TODAY, so, it is a matter of time until governments feel the pressure of having the technical resources but not willing to invest money in protecting the environment and its biodiversity (even when many politicians like those titles during campaigns)
CARLOS REFERRED TO US AS "DANGEROUS ANIMALS"
WE ARE NOT
WE DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT PRIVATE PROPERTY MEANS. WE ARE DRIVEN BY INSTINCT
A COW IS A NATURAL
PREY TO US.
WE CAN AVOID
The former words were more focused on the functional aspects and benefits provided by Geo Localization, GPS and the integration with the rest of the technologies involved in this context, focusing on the technical aspects of GPS, I use two kind of GPS electronics, the one built in on the Sony Spresense, which is great for outdoor use and fixed devices (I never tried them with an external antenna though) and uBlox GPS boards which are better for moving or shaking scenarios, these modules also have an amazing coverage and they go well with the design philosophy I established for BCB.
GPS uses a set of string messages specified by NMEA (National Marine Electronic Association), they are the messages the antenna receives from the satellite system and they will provide the information you need about positioning satellites, and a bunch of useful things. The Spresense has a comprehensive class to retrieve most of the information information. The uBlox GPS cards will dump the text, so, you can dig into more details or use some libraries already made for the Arduinos board, i.e. tinyGPS. I will be posting about those tools soon because they can provide more than you would imagine at first.
Using or Adding Geolocation to your devices.