A wide range of technology capacity building programs are currently underway to safeguard elephants and rhino populations in Africa and elsewhere. A common mistake has been the consistent deployment of a top-down strategy, which includes overly sophisticated hardware in the field. To the contrary, technical solutions must focus on specific ranger needs and take into consideration current levels of capacity in the field.
To that end, our phased plan begins by deploying a user-friendly, smartphone-based, software platform to provide surveillance and situational awareness for the rangers. This is a one-year process in a two-year project. In following phases, sensors systems will provide perimeter control information and intrusion detection to the main platform. Advanced network and radar technologies will also be applied to provide an overview of a larger area and to detect large objects. Eventually, and if appropriate, unmanned aerial vehicles will provide video and thermal images.
Our ultimate goal is to provide a widely accepted and appreciated security level to the parks and sanctuaries that will scare away potential poachers. If a poacher comes anyway, the border protection system will prevent the poacher to enter the secured area, and if the poacher still is able to pass the border, the surveillance system will track the motion of the poacher, and countermeasures can be taken.
This page summarizes some challenging research efforts in the later phases. Our goal is to use existing hardware and theory in new innovative ways, where the app and backend software provide the glue and framework for all development. Read more about our specific projects in the field from the menu above. These technologies have been tested in our test site at Kolmården Zoo, and the result of many collaborative research projects, in particular with the Swedish defense agency (FOI) carried out the the strategic research area Security Link.