Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Infineon Technologies And Rainforest Connection Use IoT Sensors To Protect Rainforests In Vulnerable Regions

January 3, 2023

Infineon Technologies AG is collaborating with the NGO Rainforest Connection (RFCx) with idea of pursuing the common goal of monitoring the vulnerable regions, specially the rains forests with modern sensor technology. The preservation of rainforests is crucial to prevent climate change. However, illegal deforestation and wildfires threaten the most vulnerable areas of our planet.

A statement said that at the heart of the Rainforest Connection’s work are Guardian devices powered by solar electricity. These devices transmit live sound recordings from rainforests. Artificial intelligence is used to analyse the data, detecting sounds of threats. When the sound of chainsaws is detected, rangers are alerted on site and directed to the location. This facilitates greater ranger safety and the ability to monitor much larger areas to protect the world’s remaining forests from being illegally logged.

Rainforest Connection Rainforest Connection has deployed over 500 of these devices in 30 countries to date, with active projects currently in 25 countries. The hardware is also used to monitor biodiversity, such as the presence of primates, birds, frogs, insects, and bats. Rainforest Connection has collected more than 92 million minutes of sound recordings in recent years, including numerous recordings of endangered and endemic species.

The recordings valuable for scientific research and informing conservation impact on the ground.

To ensure that the devices can not only “hear” but also “smell,” both partners are collaborating to equip a number of Guardian devices with Infineon’s XENSIV PAS CO2 sensor. The goal is to considerably expand the database for recording biodiversity: in the future, sound recordings can be linked with other information including temperature, humidity, ozone and now CO2. Rainforest Connection will be able to add CO2 data to their biodiversity analysis to look for further insights on forest health and to identify areas that need to be protected. The teams are also looking forward to seeing if there are links in how animals react to sensitive changes in the microclimate.

The statement said that Rainforest Connection has already deployed ten of these devices in Brazil during the summer of 2022. The deployment showed that the CO2 sensor provides tremendous data that will help monitor biodiversity. The teams are also exploring how advanced sensors can be used to detect wildfires. However, this will require further analysis using artificial intelligence. There are plans for further testing in 2023.

“By using gas sensors, we can link acoustic information about the biodiversity on site with information about the microclimate,” said Bourhan Yassin, CEO at Rainforest Connection. “This allows completely new insights into what effects, for example, climate change has on the particularly vulnerable regions of our planet.The recent Kunming-Montreal deal validates the importance and urgency of allocating more resources to better preserve and protect our forests and biodiversity, and our Guardian acoustic monitoring hardware powered by Infineon sensor technology helps us do just that.”

“Our CO2 sensor, and its innovative and robust operating principle, creates a solution we are excited to see deployed into a low power rainforest environment. We believe that innovative technology solutions, that push the boundaries of what is possible, can contribute significantly to help protect the particularly threatened regions of our planet. This is crucial for global climate protection. We are pleased to be working together with the Rainforest Connection towards this goal,” says Adrian Mikolajczak, Vice President, Silicon Valley Innovation Center.

Rainforest Connection (RFCx), is a nonprofit Conservation Technology organization that has developed acoustic technology to protect rainforests from illegal logging and monitor biodiversity to better inform conservation efforts around the world. Their Guardian system is able to detect illegal logging threats, alert onthe-ground partners to take action, and ultimately guard these carbon sinks from being destroyed. Their biodiversity monitoring and analysis system, the RFCx Arbimon platform, allows them to also monitor hundreds of species including endemic and threatened species, quantifying their species richness, behavior, and distribution within vulnerable areas. Their data allows them to better understand the effects of human and environmental impacts on wildlife and guide more effective preservation efforts.

Infineon Technologies AG is a global semiconductor leader in power systems and IoT. Infineon drives decarbonisation and digitalisation with its products and solutions. The company has around 56,200 employees worldwide and generated revenue of about €14.2 billion in the 2022 fiscal year (ending 30 September).