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MonitoringNo fish out of water: monitoring systems for the local zoo

Bochum's zoo, the Tierpark + Fossilium, intended to expand the monitoring system of its fish tank and asked THGA for help. Our experts in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology have developed an innovative system which does not only monitor the water quality but also sends an alarm signal to the people responsible if something goes wrong.

In control 24/7

At the moment, the measuring stations record the parameters of water and air such as temperature, oxygen level and pH-value in the Amazon basin, the North Sea world and the 22 large terrariums of the zoo and transmit these data to a central monitoring system. In addition, the system called "Hai-Tech" (Hai being the German word for shark which are kept in the fish tank, too) monitors the pump stations of the water basins and determines the redox potential. This potential provides information on the chemical processes in the fish tank water and shows whether pumps and filters work properly. As soon as certain limit values are exceeded, the system automatically sends an alarm to the technicians in charge and helps to prevent damage - to the animals but also to the system, avoiding expensive maintenance cost. Initially, this technology was developed to monitor mine gas which is a legacy of coal mining. Meanwhile, it has been developed into a system od much wider use. The core electronic unit remains the same in each application, and only the sensor technology needs to be adjusted to the individual requirements.

This innovative monitoring is possible thanks to the Internet of Things: in this case, the global network set up by the French company Sigfox. Using Sigfox objects of low energy consumption can be wireless connected to the Internet. The concept of a green IoT adds environmental aspects: for example, the Bochum system can be used to consistently record and monitor different environmental scenarios - on the ground, in the water or in the air.

Project aims

  • Scientific support when developing and installing a high-tech monitoring system for aquariums and terrariums of zoos to transmit irregularities and disruptions immediately to mobile phones or tablets
  • Improving students' core competencies by providing practice-related topics for their term papers and theses in colloaboration with the local zoo

Cooperation partners


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd vom BergProfessor for Electrical Engineering

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