Monthly Archives: August 2013

Telemetry’s role in fishery and wildlife research and management

Organisations investing in solutions like silo monitoring hardware and software from Oriel Systems ( are often intrigued to read of how telemetry – the automated making of measurements and the remote collection and transmission of data – is applied in sectors far beyond the likes of the oil and gas, chemicals, water and printing industries. One area in which these systems certainly have value is in the research and management of fishery and wildlife, with telemetry proving its worth in the monitoring of threatened species at the individual level.

For data acquisition software to work in the study of certain species, the animals are routinely outfitted with instrumentation tags, which incorporate sensors for the measurement of temperature, speed and location, making the most of ARGOS or GPS packages. In the case of marine animals, diving depth and duration is also generally measured. Through telemetry tags, researchers can learn about the behaviour, functions and environment of given animals. Archival tags can be used to store this information, or it may be sent or transmitted to a satellite or handheld receiving device.

Hydro-acoustic assessments for fish had previously involved the use of mobile surveys from boats for the evaluation of fish biomass and spatial distributions. Now, however, advanced telemetry is used, with stationary transducers being employed as part of fixed-location techniques for the monitoring of passing fish. It may have been the 1960s when fish biomass quantification was first seriously attempted, but it was at hydropower dams in the 1980s that especially significant advances in equipment and techniques took place. In the case of some evaluations, fish passage was monitored on a 24 hours a day basis for over a year, resulting in estimates of fish sizes, fish entrainment rates and spatial and temporal distributions.

The 1970s saw the invention of the dual-beam technique, enabling fish size to be directly estimated in situ via its target strength. By the early 1990s, HTI had developed the first portable split-beam, hydro-acoustic system, which was soon preferred to the dual-beam method on account of the greater accuracy and reduced variability of the fish strength estimates that it produced. It was also through this method that fish could be tracked in 3D, allowing for the determination of a fish’s swimming path and absolute direction of movement. Such remote monitoring systems proved vital in evaluating entrained fish in water diversions, as well as for studies in rivers of migratory fish.

The last three and a half decades have seen tens of thousands of hydro-acoustic evaluations, both mobile and fixed-location, conducted around the world. Certainly, for the purposes of the research and management of wildlife and fishery, telemetry solutions have never relented in their importance – and much the same could be said for the many industries that Oriel Systems ( serves with aplomb. The company’s technical team is happy to listen to requests for both relatively simple and much more advanced, specialised systems.


Telemetry and the Formula One

For the large installed client base of Oriel Systems (, the benefits of remote monitoring systems, both in a more general sense and in ways more directly applicable to their highly specialised industries, are clear. There is, however, another less everyday setting in which telemetry solutions have long proved their worth to the end of delivering world-leading performance – with the results regularly being shown live on TV to millions upon millions of viewers worldwide. That setting is, of course, the Formula One paddock.

Formula One has long been a bastion of high technology, and amid the intense competition both on and off the circuit, it shouldn’t be a surprise that race engineers take advantage of every resource available to properly tune these highly-sprung and delicate vehicles. Whether during a test or race, engineers throughout motor racing have long sought data that they can interpret, and in Formula One, the sophistication of current telemetry systems are such that the car’s potential lap time can be calculated, giving the driver a benchmark to meet.

Temperature readings, suspension displacement and wheel speed, as well as accelerations (G forces) in 3 axes, are all measurements that can be made on a racing car via a remote data acquisition system. In Formula One, driver input can also be recorded for the assessment of driver performance, as well as so that in the event of an accident, the sport’s governing body, the FIA can determine whether or not driver error was at fault. A more recent development was two-way telemetry that enabled a car’s calibrations to be updated by engineers in real time, even when the car was out on track. Having first appeared in Formula One in the early 1990s, two-way telemetry was banned from Formula One by the FIA ahead of the 2003 season.

Most viewers of the on-track action around the world are, of course, oblivious to the intricacies of telemetry solutions and their influence on the outcome of a race, although they do have a highly visible physical presence in the form of the engineers who are constantly hunched behind screens, using the sourced data to interpret their car’s every move. These engineers are in many ways the unsung heroes of the sport, as they spend hour after hour dutifully behind screens on the pit wall, in the garage, inside the paddock engineering truck and even back at the team’s headquarters, many of them never to be seen at the podium celebrations as their triumphant driver douses himself in champagne.

The focus of these engineers may be on the car’s speed, or instead on its reliability. Whatever their exact responsibilities, they depend on the most accurate and sundry data, delivered to them by technology with much in common with that used by Oriel Systems’ ( loyal clients. The company’s technical team happy to devise the right inventory monitoring solution in response to even the most specialised of requirements in the oil and gas, chemical, water and printing industries.


What reasons are there to choose Oriel Systems over any other telemetry provider?

People who have spent a decent amount of time perusing the Oriel Systems ( website are likely to appreciate one thing, above so many other things: that telemetry really does serve a vital purpose in so many industries, particularly at a time when there is pressure to become more competitive on a backdrop of reduced revenues. For a process that seemingly amounts simply to an instrument’s readings being recorded and then transmitted via radio, telemetry has an astonishing range of increasingly essential real world applications.

Telemetry solutions have long been used in fields ranging from meteorology, space science and motor racing to flight testing, military intelligence and medicine. Oriel Systems does not provide solutions for all of the fields in which telemetry could possibly have an impact, but does provide the most reputable, reliable and scalable hardware and software for those in the water, chemical, oil and gas and printing industries. Having been in business now for more than a quarter of a century, the company has an enviable manufacturing, research and development facility in south west England, and maintains strategic alliances and agents across Europe and the Far East.

But for those in the UK who require a well-tailored remote data acquisition solution, the main benefits of doing business with Oriel Systems remain clear. The company’s solutions are flexible, reliable and cost-effective, as can be vouched for by a large installed user base worldwide. These systems are able to connect to various remote plant and equipment, including the client’s existing telemetry equipment that they may have had to dispose of, had they opted for another supplier. The system really can be added to as and when requirements change, with the client only paying for the size of system that they need.

A remote tank monitoring solution from Oriel Systems can also be quickly and easily installed, saving the client manpower and labour and minimising both start-up and operational costs. The products themselves include an intelligent video unit that can transmit up to 8 live feeds – optionally with audio – simultaneously from the client’s remote site over the Internet. Meanwhile, Oriel Systems’ well-regarded software includes Awax VMI telemetry software that enables the simple and confident monitoring and control of remote sites.

Various industry-specific needs can be catered for by these hardware and software options, and Oriel Systems ( also grants access to experienced software consultants who can develop simple user interfaces and more advanced measurement and analysis functions alike. Indeed, Oriel Systems’ people are central to its offering. Customer support can be provided over the phone or via the remote control of customer telemetry systems, and whatever the client’s exact requirements, members of the technical team can be contacted by phone during the day for further discussions. These technicians and consultants are as comfortable with small projects as they are with large ones, and are happy to listen to the most distinctive of requests.