Optimization of sensor deployment for acoustic detection and localization in terrestrial environments

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2018
Authors:Piña-Covarrubias, Hill, Prince, Snaddon, Rogers, C. Doncaster
Secondary Authors:Pettorelli, Guillard
Journal:Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation
Date Published:Jun-10-2019
Keywords:acoustic monitoring, acoustic sensors, AudioMoth, Biodiversity monitoring, ecosystem management, optimisation, Soundscape, submodularity

The rapid evolution in miniaturization, power efficiency and affordability of acoustic sensors, combined with new innovations in smart capability, are vastly expanding opportunities in ground-level monitoring for wildlife conservation at a regional scale using massive sensor grids. Optimal placement of environmen- tal sensors and probabilistic localization of sources have previously been consid- ered only in theory, and not tested for terrestrial acoustic sensors. Conservation applications conventionally model detection as a function of distance. We developed probabilistic algorithms for near-optimal placement of sensors, and for localization of the sound source as a function of spatial variation in sound pressure. We employed a principled-GIS tool for mapping soundscapes to test the methods on a tropical-forest case study using gunshot sensors. On hilly ter- rain, near-optimal placement halved the required number of sensors compared to a square grid. A test deployment of acoustic devices matched the predicted success in detecting gunshots, and traced them to their local area. The methods are applicable to a broad range of target sounds. They require only an empirical estimate of sound-detection probability in response to noise level, and a sound- scape simulated from a topographic habitat map. These methods allow conser- vation biologists to plan cost-effective deployments for measuring target sounds, and to evaluate the impacts of sub-optimal sensor placements imposed by access or cost constraints, or multipurpose uses.

Short Title:Remote Sens Ecol Conserv
BioAcoustica ID: 
Non biological: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith