1 Tahrcountry Musings: Pigeons with Backpacks for Pollution Monitoring

Friday, February 03, 2006

Pigeons with Backpacks for Pollution Monitoring

An idea mooted by researcher Beatriz da Costa, of the University of California at Irvine, and two of her students to use pigeons for monitoring air quality is taking shape in real life. 20 pigeons fitted with GPS satellite tracking receiver, air pollution sensors and a basic mobile phone are be used to monitor air pollution, New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday. The release will be into the skies over San Jose, California. A special pigeon "blog", a journal accessible on the Internet will host text messages on air quality beamed back in real time. An interactive map also will be in place.

2 comments:

JLB said...

That is simply fantastic! I only hope that the strappings of technology are relatively un-imposing on the birds.

Do you happen to know where this blog is located online? I'll have to go googling...

tahrman said...

The team is planning to squeeze all the components onto a single board small enough for the birds to carry in a backpack, New Scientist said.
The pigeons will take to the air at the inter-Society for Electronic Arts' annual symposium in San Jose on August 5. So we will have to wait some more for the blog to appear.