Instrumentation to track the southern elephant seal

Deith, Peter (2005) Instrumentation to track the southern elephant seal. [USQ Project]


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Marine mammal researchers at the University of Tasmania actively study the southern
elephant seal each year by attaching electronic instruments to the animal and recording
environmental variables experience during their time spent at sea. When the animals
return to land the instruments are recovered and the data downloaded.

To further this research effort a companion instrument capable of recording magnetic
bearing, pitch and roll and has been designed and constructed in prototype. The
instrument measures and logs the earth's magnetic field in three axis and the direction
of gravity in two axis. Measuring the vector magnetic field strength is accomplished
using a three axis (x,y,z) magnetoresistive device which produces analogue voltage
outputs X*,Y* and Z* representing its direction with respect to the earth's magnetic
field. Measurement of orientation in terms of pitch and roll is achieved by using an analogue
two axis (x,y) micromachined accelerometer. The analogue signals are then converted to
digital using a 10 bit analogue to digital converter. The data logging instrument is
microcontroller controlled and incorporates flash memory capable of storing over 4
million bytes of information. This represents 97 days of directional data if sampled
every 10 seconds. To link the data from the instrument with data gathered from other
instruments, accurate timing is used, facilitated by a precision clocking oscillator with
accuracy in the order of plus/minus 1 minute per year.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:22
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:32
Uncontrolled Keywords: elephant seal, trackers, velocity time depth recorder (VTDR), sensor, instrument tracking, electronic tracking
Fields of Research (2008): 06 Biological Sciences > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
09 Engineering > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090699 Electrical and Electronic Engineering not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
40 ENGINEERING > 4008 Electrical engineering > 400899 Electrical engineering not elsewhere classified

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