Experimental area 3: Radio networking & energy supply focuses on investigating and evaluating the networkability of sensor and assistance systems against the background of energy-efficient data transmission. The spotlight is on commercially available systems.
The most important factor influencing the energy efficiency – and thus the operating time of a sensor and tracking system – is the efficiency of the radio transmission. This is influenced, among other things, by the radio technology used, the efficiency of the communication module, the properties of the sensor or tracking module’s antennas and the amount of data. An important factor influencing the quality and ecurity of the transmission is the channel environment, with occlusion, visibility conditions and communication distance, as well as propagation on the cow’s body, playing an important role, especially in large herds. These parameters can be determined by simulating the communication environment and conducting experiments in laboratory and herd environments.
The experiments are conducted under conditions that are as realistic as possible to ensure that the results can be transferred to practical applications. The laboratory tests ensure the basic comparability of similar systems. In addition to the previously mentioned parameters, the energy consumption of the sensor and tracking modules is also measured.
Networking of the sensors by means of so-called mesh networks is also the subject of the investigations, since this technology can be used to achieve the highest possible reliability of communication while at the same time minimizing the communication distances. The positioning of the sensors and communication modules on the animal is of particular interest here, as the propagation and communication channels are influenced by the coupling of the antennas with the near surroundings.