Solo – Raspberry Pi long-duration environmental recording/monitoring

As part of an undergraduate Digital Culture capstone project, we have been developing a Raspberry Pi based sound recording system to examine the degree to which sound from a road that cuts through the McDowell Sonoran Preserve may influence the movement of Mule Deer in that area. Working with the Director of the McDowell Sonoran Field Institute, Helen Rowe we recently placed six custom built recorders in a logarithmic distance spacing from the road into the park.  In the end we found a better solution than the one we had developed – called SOLO, it is designed for exactly this purpose and brilliantly stripped down to save power and provide the flexibility required for this kind of work. We really wanted to give a shout out to the SOLO team and also to another small system called SoundTrap, although we have not been able to test this one ourselves.
One of our recorder enclosures keeping it safe on a tree
The data from this initial study will assist in developing a model of baseline amplitude from the road across the study area, leading to the second phase study where we will be pairing sound and image capture to examine the presence and movement of the Mule Deer through this important land corridor.
Post Doctoral Scholar Abby Aresty preparing one of the recorders