Tracking and monitoring horses in the wild using wireless sensor networks

I.E. Radoi, J. Mann, D.K. Arvind

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Retuerta is one of the oldest breed of horses in Europe, which roams wild in the Donana National Park, Andalusia, Spain. Thirty-two of these horses were marked with wireless sensors to gather spatio-temporal data on their behaviour over a period of several months. This paper describes our experiences of tracking and monitoring these wild horses attached with body-worn sensors and operating in a harsh and challenging environment. Analysis of this data for the first two months has revealed rare insights into the horses' social behaviour, such as the group dynamics (group sizes and memberships), dispersal and home ranges which are of interest to both animal ethologists and practitioners managing the ecology of their wild habitats. The paper introduces the Virtual Beacon - Time Division Multiple Access (VB-TDMA) protocol for orchestrating the data collection, and describes the choices that were made for addressing the many technical challenges for an extended deployment, such as in the design of the sensor platform, wireless data collection and battery lifetime issues. Our experiences point to the virtue of simplicity in design of wireless sensor networks to support core functionalities for achieving good average case performances.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWireless and Mobile Computing, Networking and Communications (WiMob), 2015 IEEE 11th International Conference on
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-4673-7701-0
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • body sensor networks
  • time division multiple access
  • battery lifetime issues
  • body-worn sensors
  • virtual beacon-time division multiple access protocol
  • wild horse monitoring
  • wireless sensor networks
  • Batteries
  • Global Positioning System
  • Horses
  • Monitoring
  • Sensors
  • Wireless sensor networks


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