MobiSys 2004: Second International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, June, 2004, Boston, USA
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Electronic Shepherd - a Low-Cost, Low-Bandwidth, Wireless Network System

Bjorn Thorstensen, Tore Syversen, Tron Walseth, and Trond-Are Bjornvold, Telenor R&D, Tromso, Norway

This paper reports a new novel low-cost, wireless communication network system, called the Electronic Shepherd (ES). The system is innovative in the way that it supports flock behavior, meaning that a flock leader monitors the state of the other elements in the flock using low-cost radio communication equipment. The paper addresses both details of the terminal devices and communication protocols, as well as testing of the system in a real environment. The ES system was originally made to address special needs for sheep and reindeer farmers who were seeking a system to keep track of their animals during the grazing season. The system, including GPS receivers, UHF radio communication transceivers and GPRS modems, contributes a new approach for low-cost networking and service implementation, not only for the purpose of animal tracking, but also for other applications where objects are to be monitored at a low cost.