Houston Toad Phone: Compression and Transmission of Toad Calls
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The Toad Phone project is a collaborative effort to remotely monitor and improve the Houston Toad population. This product will aid property owners in acquiring an agricultural tax exemption appraisal. The operation of the prototype includes being able to record, compress, and transmit audio and environmental data to a cloud server (via a cell phone network) for further research purposes. The goal of my team is to create a cost-effective method and procedure for a device that will transfer recorded data for remote research. From experience with audio data, the size and number of files for this scale of research can become substantially large as recorded intervals increase. This can potentially become a large cost of the research project due to cellular network data transfer rates for large files as well as cloud data storage costs. We have decided to compress the data for better on-board storage as well as for file transfer. We have to consider the desired product’s functionality based on researchers’ requests for ease of remote monitoring. We must also be mindful of the ethical, environmental, and social constraints and applications of this device being used in a public environment. We designed a procedure on a Raspberry Pi that will automatically compress recorded audio files and use an Internet of Things module to send the files to a cloud data base. The procedure has eased the mode of how often recorded data is physically collected from the field environment, but improvement in transmission and storage costs is still being investigated.