Chandigarh, July 1
Bangladesh Railway is looking at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) in Chandigarh for installing a seismic based sensor system along upcoming rail links in their country to monitor the movement of elephants in the vicinity of rail tracks and trigger an alert.
The CSIO had earlier installed a mechanism, christened the Intelligent Elephant Movement Detection and Alert System along a railway track passing through the Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand to warn locomotive pilots about the presence of tuskers so as to prevent them from being hit by speeding trains.
Two scientists from CSIO, Dr Aparna Akula and Dr Ripul Ghosh were invited by the Bangladesh Railways in May to give a presentation to the authorities there on the technical and functional modalities of the system.
“A team from Bangladesh had visited out project site in Uttarakhand when we were executing it and shown keen interest it our system,” Dr Akula said. “They wanted to understand how it could be applied to meet their own requirements and now they invited experts from India for this,” she added.
A new railway line from Dohazari to Cox Bazar in Bangladesh is coming up which passes through three forests that are the habitat of elephants. The project is funded by the Asian Development Bank, which has made it mandatory to install protective measures along the tracks.
According to Dr Ghosh, the warning system developed by CSIO has already been granted a patent in Bangladesh as well as in Sri Lanka, even though an Indian patent for it is still pending. Sri Lanka is another possibility where this system can be installed.
CSIO is expected to issue an expression of interest in July to invite the industry for commercial production of the Intelligent Elephant Movement Detection and Alert System. “The technology has been developed by us. Now it is up to the industry for its manufacturing and marketing,” a CSIO official said.
The system consists of a number of interlinked seismic activity sensing nodes laid a few inches below the earth’s surface along areas that are prone to elephant movements. A monitoring node with embedded algorithms discerns the actual signal of elephant movement from other man made or animal noises or natural seismic activities. The pattern of elephant seismic signature is stored locally at each sensing node and the key information is transmitted to a central server for generating alerts.
The alert can be further used by forest and railway officials as an early warning measure for slowing or stopping the trains passing nearby the hotspots. The sensing node and the central server are all solar powered.
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