Advances in field based and office based technologies have been rapidly changing the efficiency and detail of data that we can now ascertain. The use of new equipment both in the field and in data analysis ensures the final service we can provide to clients is of the highest quality and allows to client to make more informed decisions on the design of their development.
Throughout the last two survey seasons at Avian Ecology we have been trialling new technologies that will provide high quality data to inform, all the reports we write. The two key pieces of technology that have been used revolved around Computer Aided Design (CAD) and a new type of bat detector called the EchoMeter Touch 2.
Throughout the bat survey season we decided to trial the new style of bat detector; it was designed with a combination of hardware and software that would enable our surveyors to listen, record and identify bats on screen while in the field. It is an attractive option due because it offers the benefits of portability, high-quality recording, species identification, and highly detailed spectrogram analysis capabilities The ability to look at the on screen sonogram (visual representation of the sound) improves understanding of the variety of calls each bat can make and the ability to replay the call immediately after the survey allows the surveyor to see quickly whether there are any unusual readings.
Our surveyors found that it was incredibly easy to use; all the surveyor had to do was to plug the detector into a compatible device (iOS), download the conjoining app and once it has synchronised its ready to go. The whole process takes 10 minutes. It has extra features like AutoID worldwide which allows species to be identified moments after the call is heard; there are also sensitivity options which allowed our surveyors to adjust the intensity of the microphone depending on the sire they were on. The data that is collected is simple to retrieve and converts well through our pre-existing Kliedescope software; this ensures high quality data and accurate results which will help inform decisions.
It is not just in the field that Avian Ecology is moving forwards; in terms of data presentation we have capabilities for creating figures and technical drawings, in both GIS and more recently in Computer-aided design (CAD). CAD is the use of computer technology for the process of design and design-documentation. The development of CAD offers industry standard software which allows for the use of vector based (linear) data in conjunction with graphic based programs that utilise raster (pixels) data. It also provides us with drawing tools for the purpose of arranging design processes, drafting ideas and comparing models.
CAD has been used over the past few seasons; to aid us in creation, modification and analysis. The use of the software moves us in line with many of our larger clients and allows us to more easily interpret their drawings, as well as providing them with highly detailed technical figures the client can understand much more clearly. This software has become very useful for us in the creation and adaptation of technical drawings, from mainly housing developers but also includes wind farms, solar farms and demolition experts. The ability to use CAD has meant our capability to more accurately analyse large scale developments has increased as we can more easily draft and review technical engineering drawings, and add key details like; materials, processes, dimensions, and tolerances.
We are always looking for new technologies that can help us improve upon the service we provide keep an eye out for more updates ……