We devised a bird-borne transceiver unit for S-band packet radio communications based on the CC2500 transceiver, a device manufactured by Texas Instruments (TI). Our assessments determined the optimal parameters needed to achieve successful bird-to-center communication over a distance of 18 km and bird-to-bird communication over a distance of 200 m. These parameters included optimal modulation methods, transmission rates, and antennas. We equipped the transceiver unit with a modified dipole antenna (collinear antenna), which we tested in a 10 m anechoic chamber. Our experimental assessments and circuit design review identified the following parameters: 2FSK modulation method; 14.28 kHz frequency shift; 101.56 kHz IF reception bandwidth; and Manchester encoding (+). Our assessments showed bird-to-bird communications could be achieved over a distance of 200 m assuming MSK, FEC (+), and 500 kbps. Following tests by an official body, we obtained 28 sets of a type approval license for 2.4 GHz. In cooperation with the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology, we attempted to tag and release six or more swans. This unit gives us the ability to obtain vital data on swans. We expect this data to provide significant benefits, including clues on improving screening for infected individuals.
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