Illegal deforestation is a worldwide problem, with recent studies indicating that between 20% and 40% of all deforestation is illegal in nature. As a direct result of illegal logging, national governments are losing significant timber sales revenue, due to competition with illegal timber. Another indirect result of illegal logging is the increase of carbon dioxide emissions, with 20% of the worldwide CO2 emissions caused by deforestation. This problem  may be alleviated through technological means of deforestation monitoring, e.g. wireless sensor networks (WSNs) capable of identifying chain-saw noise, performing sound source localization (SSL), and alerting the authorities to the location of the illegal deforestation activity. At ARH, our continuing goal is to advance research towards a practical technological solution to forest surveillance with WSNs. Towards this goal, we have published several papers in the scientific literature and continue to involve bachelor and master students in this endeavor.

Sub-projects

  • Development of FPGA-based acquisition circuitry for capturing sound data from an array of MEMS microphones, utilizing the Nexys-2 FPGA as prototyping platform and custom PCBs for each pair of microphones. More information available here. The software and FPGA code, scripts, and PCB design files are open-source under the GNU GPL v3.0 license, and are available here
  • Development of FPGA-based localization circuitry, utilizing the Delay-and-Sum algorithm. More information available here. The software and FPGA code, scripts, and PCB design files are open-source under the GNU GPL v3.0 license, and are available here

Publications