And how many trees are there in the Amazon?
And how much does one of these things cost?
Trees in Brazil are being fitted with mobile telephones so they can call for help when they're cut down, alerting the authorities to illegal logging as soon as the logs get into range. The Invisible Tracck is the size of a fag packet, and battery-powered, so it can be hidden in the branches of a tree and automatically …
"how many trees are there in the Amazon?"
Presumably loggers work around the edges as they can't teleport heavy equipemnt right into the middle of the jungle. Also they would tend to chop down all the trees in a given area, not randomly or selectively chop only a few trees. So putting the boxes on a distributed sample of trees (even 1 / 1000 or even more) around the edges of the forest will work quite well. No need to bug every single tree.
Of course, that is still a f***load of trees
I would imagine that if the branches to which the device was attached (or where it was hid) got cut down the machine would still drop, thus still generating the momentum required to "phone home".
And I highly doubt that loggers would be willing to invest in "tree studies". If the device can be hidden enough so it won't be easily noticeable when hanging in the tree I'd say its still mission well done.
It won't matter if they're left on the forest floor - the point is that they call home when they can, and so the logging can be detected, even if the culprits aren't caught red-handed.
What's unfortunate is that the radio range would be much better before the tree was chopped down!
I think the key point was that if they were hidden on the trees when in transit, once they got nearer to the mill (and the town around it) then they'd be in radio-range and so could call out. But as noted if they are in the branches and those are cut off, the beacon still sits there on the forest floor amongst the debris whilst the tree itself is carted off.
Yes it's active, but as it's not going anywhere the chances are it'll be out of radio range (presuming they weren't felling trees within about 20 miles of the mill town or other radio receiver) hence it'll be happily active and looking to call out for help on a radio that isn't connected to anything.
But as a concept it's a nice idea (and one well worth supporting), and I guess if they could daisychain and act as relays to other such devices, then even the range issue could be overcome.
“The Invisible Tracck should run for a year or so before needing fresh batteries”
Really? Given the Brazilian rain forest climate... I'd use energy scavenging devices like solar/thermo, or piezo generators powered by the tree swaying in the wind as a reliable long term power source.
You could also create a cheap mesh network using low power radio technology like Zigbee... so trees automatically connected to others in the vicinity to relay health signals via a communications hub as/when they were in range of others.
Sometimes the distinction between the GSM network and the forest isn’t so clear cut...
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