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radR: an open-source platform for acquiring and analysing data on biological targets observed by surveillance radar

Author(s): Taylor Philip | Brzustowski John | Matkovich Carolyn | Peckford Michael | Wilson Dave

Journal: BMC Ecology
ISSN 1472-6785

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 22;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background Radar has been used for decades to study movement of insects, birds and bats. In spite of this, there are few readily available software tools for the acquisition, storage and processing of such data. Program radR was developed to solve this problem. Results Program radR is an open source software tool for the acquisition, storage and analysis of data from marine radars operating in surveillance mode. radR takes time series data with a two-dimensional spatial component as input from some source (typically a radar digitizing card) and extracts and retains information of biological relevance (i.e. moving targets). Low-level data processing is implemented in "C" code, but user-defined functions written in the "R" statistical programming language can be called at pre-defined steps in the calculations. Output data formats are designed to allow for future inclusion of additional data items without requiring change to C code. Two brands of radar digitizing card are currently supported as data sources. We also provide an overview of the basic considerations of setting up and running a biological radar study. Conclusions Program radR provides a convenient, open source platform for the acquisition and analysis of radar data of biological targets.
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Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona