SpaceSheep: Satellite Communications for Ovine Smart Grazing
veterinary sciences Vol. 10, Nº 5, pp. 340 - 340, May, 2023.
ISSN (print): 2306-7381
Scimago Journal Ranking: 0,52 (in 2022)
Digital Object Identifier: 10.3390/vetsci10050340
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The application of IoT-based methods to support pastoralism allows the smart optimization of livestock operations and improves the efficiency of the activity. The use of autonomous animal control mechanisms frees the shepherd to carry out other tasks. However, human intervention is still needed in cases such as system failure, the bad or unpredicted behavior of the animals, or even in cases of danger, the welfare of the animal. This study documents the enhancement of an alarm generation system, initially developed within the scope of the SheepIT project, to monitor animal behavior and equipment, which warns the human operator of the occurrence of undesirable events that require intervention. Special attention was given to the use of case scenarios in places without Internet access, such as rural areas. Therefore, the system was integrated with a satellite interface, as a way of guaranteeing the timely delivery of the alarm messages. To ensure an acceptable operating cost, the system was further optimized in terms of message encoding, considering the cost of this type of communication. This study assessed the overall performance of the system, evaluated its scalability, and compared the efficiency gains from the optimization, as well as the performance of the satellite link.