Flexible tag design for semi-continuous wireless data acquisition from marine animals

Muhammad Akram Karimi, Qingle Zhang, Yen Hung Kuo, Sohail F. Shaikh, Altynay Kaidarova, Nathan Geraldi, Muhammad Mustafa Hussain, Jürgen Kosel, Carlos M. Duarte, Atif Shamim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Acquisition of sensor data from tagged marine animals has always been a challenge. Presently, we come across two extreme mechanisms to acquire marine data. For continuous data acquisition, hundreds of kilometers of optical fiber links are used which in addition to being expensive, are impractical in certain circumstances. On the other extreme, data is retrieved in an offline and invasive manner after removing the sensor tag from the animal's skin. This paper presents a semi-continuous method of acquiring marine data without requiring tags to be removed from the sea animal. Marine data is temporarily stored in the tag's memory, which is then automatically synced to floating receivers as soon as the animal rises to the water surface. To ensure effective wireless communication in an unpredictable environment, a quasi-isotropic antenna has been designed which works equally well irrespective of the orientation of the tagged animal. In contrast to existing rigid wireless devices, the tag presented in this work is flexible and thus convenient for mounting on marine animals. The tag has been initially tested in air as a standalone unit with a communication range of 120m. During tests in water, with the tag mounted on the skin of a crab, a range of 12m has been observed. In a system-level test, the muscle activity of a small giant clam (Tridacna maxima) has been recorded in real time via the non-invasive wireless tag.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)035006
JournalFlexible and Printed Electronics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 6 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Research reported in this publication was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).


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