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Forest Guardian

A low-power solar-run device that detects illegal logging of wood at the edge using acoustic data.

Nearly 19 million acres of forests are destroyed annually, equal to 27 football pitches a minute. Forests serve as homes for thousands of animals, and for many people, they’re a source of food, water, clothing, medicine, and shelter. The so-called lungs of the Earth also mitigate climate change by acting as a carbon sink. As cities expand with the rise of natural calamities like forest fires at an alarming rate the need to conserve the forest ecosystem is a vital step in our fight against climate change. Forest fires need no introduction. That being said, more than 80% of forest fires are anthropogenic (human-made) as opposed to biogenic (natural). These can be for many reasons, such as illegal logging, deforestation efforts. Forest loss as a result of illegal logging is a threat to biodiversity in forest habitats. More and more species are unable to survive as the practice denies the habitat crucial for natural interconnectedness. The extensive fragmentation and degradation of the forest have put more animal and plant species on the verge of extinction. Hence stopping illegal logging would help restore the flora and fauna and restore nature’s balance to sustain the world.

Proposed Solution
The solution is to build an Illegal Logging Detection Based on Acoustic events at the edge itself powered by solar energy. Most of the solutions to date have been heavily relying on the cloud for post-processing the data collected from sensors, which is limited by the network bandwidth making them power-hungry devices. Hence the proposed device would be capable of classifying 3 classes of Acoustic events, namely: Normal ( Natural Forest Sound), Axe ( Logging of trees using Axe), Chainsaw ( Logging of trees using a chainsaw) at the edge, and would only send the classification results & device state over a radio frequency to the base station. The base station receives the data, uploads it to the cloud, and generates an SMS alert to the concerned authority if illegal logging is detected. To sustain this solution in forests, we would need to harvest solar energy and store it in a battery. Also to save power the device would in a continuous cycle of sleeping, waking up to inference, and sleep back again.”

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