Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: BLE beacon

17 Swarm Optimization of Unmanned Vehicles and Object Localization

Authors: Venkataramana Sovenahalli Badigar, B. M. Suryakanth, Akshar Prasanna, Karthik Veeramalai, Vishwak Ram Vishwak Ram

Abstract:

Technological advances have led to widespread autonomy in vehicles. Empowering these autonomous with the intelligence to cooperate amongst themselves leads to a more efficient use of the resources available to them. This paper proposes a demonstration of a swarm algorithm implemented on a group of autonomous vehicles. The demonstration involves two ground bots and an aerial drone which cooperate amongst them to locate an object of interest. The object of interest is modelled using a high-intensity light source which acts as a beacon. The ground bots are light sensitive and move towards the beacon. The ground bots and the drone traverse in random paths and jointly locate the beacon. This finds application in various scenarios in where human interference is difficult such as search and rescue during natural disasters, delivering crucial packages in perilous situations, etc. Experimental results show that the modified swarm algorithm implemented in this system has better performance compared to fully random based moving algorithm for object localization and tracking.

Keywords: swarm algorithm, object localization, ground bots, drone, beacon

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16 Malware Beaconing Detection by Mining Large-scale DNS Logs for Targeted Attack Identification

Authors: Andrii Shalaginov, Katrin Franke, Xiongwei Huang

Abstract:

One of the leading problems in Cyber Security today is the emergence of targeted attacks conducted by adversaries with access to sophisticated tools. These attacks usually steal senior level employee system privileges, in order to gain unauthorized access to confidential knowledge and valuable intellectual property. Malware used for initial compromise of the systems are sophisticated and may target zero-day vulnerabilities. In this work we utilize common behaviour of malware called ”beacon”, which implies that infected hosts communicate to Command and Control servers at regular intervals that have relatively small time variations. By analysing such beacon activity through passive network monitoring, it is possible to detect potential malware infections. So, we focus on time gaps as indicators of possible C2 activity in targeted enterprise networks. We represent DNS log files as a graph, whose vertices are destination domains and edges are timestamps. Then by using four periodicity detection algorithms for each pair of internal-external communications, we check timestamp sequences to identify the beacon activities. Finally, based on the graph structure, we infer the existence of other infected hosts and malicious domains enrolled in the attack activities.

Keywords: malware detection, network security, targeted attack, computational intelligence

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15 Investigation of TEC Using YOUTHSAT RaBIT Payload Data for Low Latitude Regions

Authors: Perumalla Naveen Kumar

Abstract:

Global Positioning System (GPS) is used for civilian and military user positioning applications. The accuracy of GPS is degrading mainly because of ionospheric error. It is very important to analyze the effects of ionosphere on the performance of satellite systems especially in the low latitude regions. These variations depend on the Total Electron Content (TEC) in the ionosphere. To investigate the variations in the atmosphere, a mini satellite known as YOUTHSAT is launched by India. This is the outcome of the collaboration between India and USSR. One of the YOUTHSAT Indian payload is RaBIT (Radio Beacon for Ionospheric Tomography). In this paper, YOUTHSAT RaBIT payload data for the three typical days of 2011 are considered. The analysis is carried out for four Indian stations. The variations of Slant TEC, elevation angle and azimuth angles are analyzed with respect to local time. The obtained results are encouraging.

Keywords: Global Positioning System (GPS), Total Electron Content (TEC), YOUTHSAT, Radio Beacon for Ionospheric Tomography (RaBIT)

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14 An Indoor Guidance System Combining Near Field Communication and Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon Technologies

Authors: Rung-Shiang Cheng, Wei-Jun Hong, Jheng-Syun Wang, Kawuu W. Lin

Abstract:

Users rely increasingly on Location-Based Services (LBS) and automated navigation/guidance systems nowadays. However, while such services are easily implemented in outdoor environments using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, a requirement still exists for accurate localization and guidance schemes in indoor settings. Accordingly, the present study presents a methodology based on GPS, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Through establishing graphic information and the design of algorithm, this study develops a guidance system for indoor and outdoor on smartphones, with aim to provide users a smart life through this system. The presented system is implemented on a smartphone and evaluated on a student campus environment. The experimental results confirm the ability of the presented app to switch automatically from an outdoor mode to an indoor mode and to guide the user to the requested target destination via the shortest possible route.

Keywords: beacon, indoor, BLE, Dijkstra algorithm

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13 Designing Mobile Application to Motivate Young People to Visit Cultural Heritage Sites

Authors: Yuko Hiramatsu, Fumihiro Sato, Atsushi Ito, Hiroyuki Hatano, Mie Sato, Yu Watanabe, Akira Sasaki

Abstract:

This paper presents a mobile phone application developed for sightseeing in Nikko, one of the cultural world heritages in Japan, using the BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacon. Based on our pre-research, we decided to design our application for young people who walk around the area actively, but know little about the tradition and culture of Nikko. One solution is to construct many information boards to explain; however, it is difficult to construct new guide plates in cultural world heritage sites. The smartphone is a good solution to send such information to such visitors. This application was designed using a combination of the smartphone and beacons, set in the area, so that when a tourist passes near a beacon, the application displays information about the area including a map, historical or cultural information about the temples and shrines, and local shops nearby as well as a bus timetable. It is useful for foreigners, too. In addition, we developed quizzes relating to the culture and tradition of Nikko to provide information based on the Zeigarnik effect, a psychological effect. According to the results of our trials, tourists positively evaluated the basic information and young people who used the quiz function were able to learn the historical and cultural points. This application helped young visitors at Nikko to understand the cultural elements of the site. In addition, this application has a function to send notifications. This function is designed to provide information about the local community such as shops, local transportation companies and information office. The application hopes to also encourage people living in the area, and such cooperation from the local people will make this application vivid and inspire young visitors to feel that the cultural heritage site is still alive today. This is a gateway for young people to learn about a traditional place and understand the gravity of preserving such areas.

Keywords: BLE beacon, smartphone application, Zeigarnik effect, world heritage site, school trip

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12 Study on the Efficient Routing Algorithms in Delay-Tolerant Networks

Authors: Si-Gwan Kim

Abstract:

In Delay Tolerant Networks (DTN), there may not exist an end-to-end path between source and destination at the time of message transmission. Employing ‘Store Carry and Forward’ delivery mechanism for message transmission in such networks usually incurs long message delays. In this paper, we present the modified Binary Spray and Wait (BSW) routing protocol that enhances the performance of the original one. Our proposed algorithm adjusts the number of forward messages depending on the number of neighbor nodes. By using beacon messages periodically, the number of neighbor nodes can be managed. The simulation using ONE simulator results shows that our modified version gives higher delivery ratio and less latency as compared to BSW.

Keywords: delay tolerant networks, store carry and forward, one simulator, binary spray and wait

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11 Efficient Utilization of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for Fishing through Surveillance for Fishermen

Authors: T. Ahilan, V. Aswin Adityan, S. Kailash

Abstract:

UAV’s are small remote operated or automated aerial surveillance systems without a human pilot aboard. UAV’s generally finds its use in military and special operation application, a recent growing trend in UAV’s finds its application in several civil and non military works such as inspection of power or pipelines. The objective of this paper is the augmentation of a UAV in order to replace the existing expensive sonar (sound navigation and ranging) based equipment amongst small scale fisherman, for whom access to sonar equipment are restricted due to limited economic resources. The surveillance equipment’s present in the UAV will relay data and GPS location onto a receiver on the fishing boat using RF signals, using which the location of the schools of fishes can be found. In addition to this, an emergency beacon system is present for rescue operations and drone recovery.

Keywords: UAV, Surveillance, RF signals, fishing, sonar, GPS, video stream, school of fish

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10 Localization Mobile Beacon Using RSSI

Authors: Sallama Resen, Celal Öztürk

Abstract:

Distance estimation between tow nodes has wide scope of surveillance and tracking applications. This paper suggests a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology as a media for transceiver and receiver signal in small indoor areas. As an example, BLE communication technologies used in child safety domains. Local network is designed to detect child position in indoor school area consisting Mobile Beacons (MB), Access Points (AP) and Smart Phones (SP) where MBs stuck in children’s shoes as wearable sensors. This paper presents a technique that can detect mobile beacons’ position and help finding children’s location within dynamic environment. By means of bluetooth beacons that are attached to child’s shoes, the distance between the MB and teachers SP is estimated with an accuracy of less than one meter. From the simulation results, it is shown that high accuracy of position coordinates are achieved for multi-mobile beacons in different environments.

Keywords: bluetooth low energy, child safety, mobile beacons, received signal strength

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9 A Location-based Authentication and Key Management Scheme for Border Surveillance Wireless Sensor Networks

Authors: Walid Abdallah, Noureddine Boudriga

Abstract:

Wireless sensor networks have shown their effectiveness in the deployment of many critical applications especially in the military domain. Border surveillance is one of these applications where a set of wireless sensors are deployed along a country border line to detect illegal intrusion attempts to the national territory and report this to a control center to undergo the necessary measures. Regarding its nature, this wireless sensor network can be the target of many security attacks trying to compromise its normal operation. Particularly, in this application the deployment and location of sensor nodes are of great importance for detecting and tracking intruders. This paper proposes a location-based authentication and key distribution mechanism to secure wireless sensor networks intended for border surveillance where the key establishment is performed using elliptic curve cryptography and identity-based public key scheme. In this scheme, the public key of each sensor node will be authenticated by keys that depend on its position in the monitored area. Before establishing a pairwise key between two nodes, each one of them must verify the neighborhood location of the other node using a message authentication code (MAC) calculated on the corresponding public key and keys derived from encrypted beacon messages broadcast by anchor nodes. We show that our proposed public key authentication and key distribution scheme is more resilient to node capture and node replication attacks than currently available schemes. Also, the achievement of the key distribution between nodes in our scheme generates less communication overhead and hence increases network performances.

Keywords: wireless sensor networks, border surveillance, security, key distribution, location-based

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8 Survey Study of Integrative and Instrumental Motivation in English Language Learning of First Year Students at Naresuan University International College (NUIC), Thailand

Authors: Don August G. Delgado

Abstract:

Foreign Language acquisition without enough motivation is tough because it is the force that drives students’ interest or enthusiasm to achieve learning. In addition, it also serves as the students’ beacon to achieve their goals, desires, dreams, and aspirations in life. Since it plays an integral factor in language learning acquisition, this study focuses on the integrative and instrumental motivation levels of all the first year students of Naresuan University International College. The identification of their motivation level and inclination in learning the English language will greatly help all NUIC lecturers and administrators to create a project or activities that they will truly enjoy and find worth doing. However, if the findings of this study will say otherwise, this study can also show to NUIC lecturers and administrators how they can help and transform NUIC freshmen on becoming motivated learners to enhance their English proficiency levels. All respondents in this study received an adopted and developed questionnaire from different researches in the same perspective. The questionnaire has 24 questions that were randomly arranged; 12 for integrative motivation and 12 for instrumental motivation. The questionnaire employed the five-point Likert scale. The tabulated data were analyzed according to its means and standard deviations using the Standard Deviation Calculator. In order to interpret the motivation level of the respondents, the Interpretation of Mean Scores was utilized. Thus, this study concludes that majority of the NUIC freshmen are neither integratively motivated nor instrumentally motivated students.

Keywords: motivation, integrative, foreign language acquisition, instrumental

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7 The Beacon of Collective Hope: Mixed Method Study on the Participation of Indian Youth with Regard to Mass Demonstrations Fueled by Social Activism Media

Authors: Akanksha Lohmore, Devanshu Arya, Preeti Kapur

Abstract:

Rarely does the human mind look at the positive fallout of highly negative events. Positive psychology attempts to emphasize on the strengths and positives for human well-being. The present study examines the underpinning socio-cognitive factors of the protest movements regarding the gang rape case of December 16th, 2012 through the lens of positive psychology. A gamut of negative emotions came to the forum globally: of anger, shame, hatred, violence, death penalty for the perpetrators, amongst other equally strong. In relation to this incident, a number of questions can be raised. Can such a heinous crime have some positive inputs for contemporary society? What is it that has held people to protests for long even when they see faded lines of success in view? This paper explains the constant feeding of protests and continuation of movements by the robust model of Collective Hope by Snyder, a phenomenon unexplored by social psychologists. In this paper, mixed method approach was undertaken. Results confirmed the interaction of various socio-psychological factors that imitated the Snyders model of collective hope. Emergence of major themes was: Sense of Agency, Sense of Worthiness, Social Sharing and Common Grievances and Hope of Collective Efficacy. Statistical analysis (correlation and regression) showed significant relationship between media usage and occurrence of these themes among participants. Media-communication processes and educational theories for development of citizenship behavior can find implications from these results. Theory development as indicated by theorists working in the area of Social Psychology of Protests can be furthered by the direction of research.

Keywords: agency, collective, hope, positive psychology, protest, social media

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6 Fact-checking and Political Polarization in an Emerging Democracy

Authors: Eric Agyekum, Dominic Asitanga

Abstract:

Ghana is widely considered asa beacon of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa. With a relatively free media, the country was ranked30thin the world and third in Africaon the 2021 Press Freedom Index. Despite the democratic gains, itis one of the most politically polarized nations in the world. Ghana’spolitical division is evident in the current hunglegislature, where each of the two dominant political parties has 137 members, with an independent member occupying the remaining one seat. Misinformation and fake newsthrive in systems with acuteideological and political differences(Imelda et al, 2021; Azzimonti&Fernandes, 2018; Spohr, 2017) and Ghana is no exception. The information disorder problem has been exacerbatedby the COVID-19 pandemic, with its attendant conspiracy theories and speculations, making it difficult for the media and fact-checking organizations to verifyall claims and flag false information. In Ghana, fact-checking agencies like Ghana Fact, Dubawa Ghana, and some mainstream news media organizations have been fact-checking political claims, COVID-19 conspiracy theories, and many others. However, it is not clear if the audience consumeand attach prominence to these fact-checked stories or even visit the websites of the fact-checking agencies to read the content. Nekmat (2020) opine that though the literature on fact-checking suggest that fact-checked stories can alter readers’ beliefs, very few studies have investigated the patronage and the potential of fact-checks to deter users from sharing false news with others, particularly on social media. In response to Nekmat, this study has been initiated to examine the perception and attitude of the audience in Ghana towards fact-checks. Anchored on the principles of the nudge theory, this study will investigate how fact-checked stories alters readers’ behavioural patterns. A survey will be conducted to collect data from sampled members of the Ghanaian society.

Keywords: fact-checking, information disorder, nudge theory, political polarization

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5 Discussion of Blackness in Wrestling

Authors: Jason Michael Crozier

Abstract:

The wrestling territories of the mid-twentieth century in the United States are widely considered the birthplace of modern professional wrestling, and by many professional wrestlers, to be a beacon of hope for the easing of racial tensions during the civil rights era and beyond. The performers writing on this period speak of racial equality but fail to acknowledge the exploitation of black athletes as a racialized capital commodity who suffered the challenges of systemic racism, codified by a false narrative of aspirational exceptionalism and equality measured by audience diversity. The promoters’ ability to equate racial and capital exploitation with equality leads to a broader discussion of the history of Muscular Christianity in the United States and the exploitation of black bodies. Narratives of racial erasure that dominate the historical discourse when examining athleticism and exceptionalism redefined how blackness existed and how physicality and race are conceived of in sport and entertainment spaces. When discussing the implications of race and professional wrestling, it is important to examine the role of promotions as ‘imagined communities’ where the social agency of wrestlers is defined and quantified based on their ‘desired elements’ as a performer. The intentionally vague nature of this language masks a deep history of racialization that has been perpetuated by promoters and never fully examined by scholars. Sympathetic racism and the omission of cultural identity are also key factors in the limitations and racial barriers placed upon black athletes in the squared circle. The use of sympathetic racism within professional wrestling during the twentieth century defined black athletes into two distinct categorizations, the ‘black savage’ or the ‘black minstrel’. Black wrestlers of the twentieth century were defined by their strength as a capital commodity and their physicality rather than their knowledge of the business and in-ring skill. These performers had little agency in their ability to shape their own character development inside and outside the ring. Promoters would often create personas that heavily racialized the performer by tying them to a regional past or memory, such as that of slavery in the deep south using dog collar matches and adoring black characters in chains. Promoters softened cultural memory by satirizing the historic legacy of slavery and the black identity.

Keywords: sympathetic racism, social agency, racial commodification, stereotyping

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4 Argos System: Improvements and Future of the Constellation

Authors: Sophie Baudel, Aline Duplaa, Jean Muller, Stephan Lauriol, Yann Bernard

Abstract:

Argos is the main satellite telemetry system used by the wildlife research community, since its creation in 1978, for animal tracking and scientific data collection all around the world, to analyze and understand animal migrations and behavior. The marine mammals' biology is one of the major disciplines which had benefited from Argos telemetry, and conversely, marine mammals biologists’ community has contributed a lot to the growth and development of Argos use cases. The Argos constellation with 6 satellites in orbit in 2017 (Argos 2 payload on NOAA 15, NOAA 18, Argos 3 payload on NOAA 19, SARAL, METOP A and METOP B) is being extended in the following years with Argos 3 payload on METOP C (launch in October 2018), and Argos 4 payloads on Oceansat 3 (launch in 2019), CDARS in December 2021 (to be confirmed), METOP SG B1 in December 2022, and METOP-SG-B2 in 2029. Argos 4 will allow more frequency bands (600 kHz for Argos4NG, instead of 110 kHz for Argos 3), new modulation dedicated to animal (sea turtle) tracking allowing very low transmission power transmitters (50 to 100mW), with very low data rates (124 bps), enhancement of high data rates (1200-4800 bps), and downlink performance, at the whole contribution to enhance the system capacity (50,000 active beacons per month instead of 20,000 today). In parallel of this ‘institutional Argos’ constellation, in the context of a miniaturization trend in the spatial industry in order to reduce the costs and multiply the satellites to serve more and more societal needs, the French Space Agency CNES, which designs the Argos payloads, is innovating and launching the Argos ANGELS project (Argos NEO Generic Economic Light Satellites). ANGELS will lead to a nanosatellite prototype with an Argos NEO instrument (30 cm x 30 cm x 20cm) that will be launched in 2019. In the meantime, the design of the renewal of the Argos constellation, called Argos For Next Generations (Argos4NG), is on track and will be operational in 2022. Based on Argos 4 and benefitting of the feedback from ANGELS project, this constellation will allow revisiting time of fewer than 20 minutes in average between two satellite passes, and will also bring more frequency bands to improve the overall capacity of the system. The presentation will then be an overview of the Argos system, present and future and new capacities coming with it. On top of that, use cases of two Argos hardware modules will be presented: the goniometer pathfinder allowing recovering Argos beacons at sea or on the ground in a 100 km radius horizon-free circle around the beacon location and the new Argos 4 chipset called ‘Artic’, already available and tested by several manufacturers.

Keywords: Argos satellite telemetry, marine protected areas, oceanography, maritime services

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3 Timely Palliative Screening and Interventions in Oncology

Authors: Jaci Marie Mastrandrea, Rosario Haro

Abstract:

Background: The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends that healthcare institutions have established processes for integrating palliative care (PC) into cancer treatment and that all cancer patients be screened for PC needs upon initial diagnosis as well as throughout the entire continuum of care (National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 2021). Early PC screening and intervention is directly associated with improved patient outcomes. The Sky Lakes Cancer Treatment Center (SLCTC) is an institution that has access to PC services yet does not have protocols in place for identifying patients with palliative needs or a standardized referral process. The aim of this quality improvement project was to improve early access to PC services by establishing a standardized screening and referral process for outpatient oncology patients. Method: The sample population included all adult patients with an oncology diagnosis who presented to the SLCTC for treatment during the project timeline. The “Palliative and Supportive Needs Assessment'' (PSNA) screening tool was developed from validated, evidence-based PC referral criteria. The tool was initially implemented using paper forms, and data was collected over a period of eight weeks. Patients were screened by nurses on the SLCTC oncology treatment team. Nurses responsible for screening patients received an educational inservice prior to implementation. Patients with a PSNA score of three or higher received an educational handout on the topic of PC and education about PC and symptom management. A score of five or higher indicates that PC referral is strongly recommended, and the patient’s EHR is flagged for the oncology provider to review orders for PC referral. The PSNA tool was approved by Sky Lakes administration for full integration into Epic-Beacon. The project lead collaborated with the Sky Lakes’ information systems team and representatives from Epic on the tool’s aesthetic and functionality within the Epic system. SLCTC nurses and physicians were educated on how to document the PSNA within Epic and where to view results. Results: Prior to the implementation of the PSNA screening tool, the SLCTC had zero referrals to PC in the past year, excluding referrals to hospice. Data was collected from the completed screening assessments of 100 patients under active treatment at the SLCTC. Seventy-three percent of patients met criteria for PC referral with a score greater than or equal to three. Of those patients who met referral criteria, 53.4% (39 patients) were referred for a palliative and supportive care consultation. Patients that were not referred to PC upon meeting criteria were flagged in EPIC for re-screening within one to three months. Patients with lung cancer, chronic hematologic malignancies, breast cancer, and gastrointestinal malignancy most frequently met the criteria for PC referral and scored highest overall on the scale of 0-12. Conclusion: The implementation of a standardized PC screening tool at the SLCTC significantly increased awareness of PC needs among cancer patients in the outpatient setting. Additionally, data derived from this quality improvement project supports the national recommendation for PC to be an integral component of cancer treatment across the entire continuum of care.

Keywords: oncology, palliative and supportive care, symptom management, outpatient oncology, palliative screening tool

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2 An Autonomous Passive Acoustic System for Detection, Tracking and Classification of Motorboats in Portofino Sea

Authors: A. Casale, J. Alessi, C. N. Bianchi, G. Bozzini, M. Brunoldi, V. Cappanera, P. Corvisiero, G. Fanciulli, D. Grosso, N. Magnoli, A. Mandich, C. Melchiorre, C. Morri, P. Povero, N. Stasi, M. Taiuti, G. Viano, M. Wurtz

Abstract:

This work describes a real-time algorithm for detecting, tracking and classifying single motorboats, developed using the acoustic data recorded by a hydrophone array within the framework of EU LIFE + project ARION (LIFE09NAT/IT/000190). The project aims to improve the conservation status of bottlenose dolphins through a real-time simultaneous monitoring of their population and surface ship traffic. A Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) system is installed on two autonomous permanent marine buoys, located close to the boundaries of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Portofino (Ligurian Sea- Italy). Detecting surface ships is also a necessity in many other sensible areas, such as wind farms, oil platforms, and harbours. A PAM system could be an effective alternative to the usual monitoring systems, as radar or active sonar, for localizing unauthorized ship presence or illegal activities, with the advantage of not revealing its presence. Each ARION buoy consists of a particular type of structure, named meda elastica (elastic beacon) composed of a main pole, about 30-meter length, emerging for 7 meters, anchored to a mooring of 30 tons at 90 m depth by an anti-twist steel wire. Each buoy is equipped with a floating element and a hydrophone tetrahedron array, whose raw data are send via a Wi-Fi bridge to a ground station where real-time analysis is performed. Bottlenose dolphin detection algorithm and ship monitoring algorithm are operating in parallel and in real time. Three modules were developed and commissioned for ship monitoring. The first is the detection algorithm, based on Time Difference Of Arrival (TDOA) measurements, i.e., the evaluation of angular direction of the target respect to each buoy and the triangulation for obtaining the target position. The second is the tracking algorithm, based on a Kalman filter, i.e., the estimate of the real course and speed of the target through a predictor filter. At last, the classification algorithm is based on the DEMON method, i.e., the extraction of the acoustic signature of single vessels. The following results were obtained; the detection algorithm succeeded in evaluating the bearing angle with respect to each buoy and the position of the target, with an uncertainty of 2 degrees and a maximum range of 2.5 km. The tracking algorithm succeeded in reconstructing the real vessel courses and estimating the speed with an accuracy of 20% respect to the Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals. The classification algorithm succeeded in isolating the acoustic signature of single vessels, demonstrating its temporal stability and the consistency of both buoys results. As reference, the results were compared with the Hilbert transform of single channel signals. The algorithm for tracking multiple targets is ready to be developed, thanks to the modularity of the single ship algorithm: the classification module will enumerate and identify all targets present in the study area; for each of them, the detection module and the tracking module will be applied to monitor their course.

Keywords: acoustic-noise, bottlenose-dolphin, hydrophone, motorboat

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1 Low-Cost Aviation Solutions to Strengthen Counter-Poaching Efforts in Kenya

Authors: Kuldeep Rawat, Michael O'Shea, Maureen McGough

Abstract:

The paper will discuss a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded project to provide cost-effective aviation technologies and research to support counter-poaching operations related to endangered, protected, and/or regulated wildlife. The goal of this project is to provide cost-effective aviation technology and research support to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in their counter-poaching efforts. In pursuit of this goal, Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is assisting the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in enhancing the Kenya Wildlife Service’s aviation technology and related capacity to meet its counter-poaching mission. Poaching, at its core, is systemic as poachers go to the most extreme lengths to kill high target species such as elephant and rhino. These high target wildlife species live in underdeveloped or impoverished nations, where poachers find fewer barriers to their operations. In Kenya, with fifty-nine (59) parks and reserves, spread over an area of 225,830 square miles (584,897 square kilometers) adequate surveillance on the ground is next to impossible. Cost-effective aviation surveillance technologies, based on a comprehensive needs assessment and operational evaluation, are needed to curb poaching and effectively prevent wildlife trafficking. As one of the premier law enforcement Air Wings in East Africa, KWS plays a crucial role in Kenya, not only in counter-poaching and wildlife conservation efforts, but in aerial surveillance, counterterrorism and national security efforts as well. While the Air Wing has done, a remarkable job conducting aerial patrols with limited resources, additional aircraft and upgraded technology should significantly advance the Air Wing’s ability to achieve its wildlife protection mission. The project includes: (i) Needs Assessment of the KWS Air Wing, to include the identification of resources, current and prospective capacity, operational challenges and priority goals for expansion, (ii) Acquisition of Low-Cost Aviation Technology to meet priority needs, and (iii) Operational Evaluation of technology performance, with a focus on implementation and effectiveness. The Needs Assessment reflects the priorities identified through two site visits to the KWS Air Wing in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as field visits to multiple national parks receiving aerial support and interviewing/surveying KWS Air wing pilots and leadership. Needs Assessment identified some immediate technology needs that includes, GPS with upgrades, including weather application, Night flying capabilities, to include runway lights and night vision technology, Cameras and surveillance equipment, Flight tracking system and/or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, Lightweight ballistic-resistant body armor, and medical equipment, to include a customized stretcher and standard medical evacuation equipment. Results of this assessment, along with significant input from the KWS Air Wing, will guide the second phase of this project: technology acquisition. Acquired technology will then be evaluated in the field, with a focus on implementation and effectiveness. Results will ultimately be translated for any rural or tribal law enforcement agencies with comparable aerial surveillance missions and operational environments, and jurisdictional challenges, seeking to implement low-cost aviation technology. Results from Needs Assessment phase, including survey results and our ongoing technology acquisition and baseline operational evaluation will be discussed in the paper.

Keywords: aerial surveillance mission, aviation technology, counter-poaching, wildlife protection

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