Farmscape for July 22, 2020
Scientists working on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc are preparing to test a third generation of more durable sensors designed to track temperatures within swine transport trailers.
As part of research being conducted by the University of Saskatchewan, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, the Prairie Swine Centre and the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute to improve the disinfection of swine transport vehicles, scientists are assessing the resilience of the sensors used in the trailers.
The sensors, developed by Transport Genie, track temperatures at various locations within the trailers to ensure disinfection during baking as well as measures related to animal welfare.
Dr. Terry Fonstad, a Professor in the College of Engineering with the University of Saskatchewan, says earlier versions of the sensor weren't durable.
Clip-Dr. Terry Fonstad-University of Saskatchewan:
You want to put the sensors in the hardest to heat places and then you want that data to be secure so that both the wash facility and the owner know where it is and it also guides the trailer wash.
Then above and beyond just the whole traceability, if I've got to have sensors anyway and I've got to have a power supply, I can add a GPS control so I know where that sensor is.
I can add humidity and temperature measurement during transport so I know what the animals' comfort levels are.
Transport Genie out of Guelph is leading that development on the sensor side and they've got a subcontractor that's building the sensor.
We're providing third party testing on those sensors.
I think we're in our third version of the sensor.
The first two weren't durable enough for the environment that is in these trailers.
They get rattled as they go across bumps and hogs are famous for being curious and chewing on things so they can wreck a sensor.
Then the sensors themselves are quite small delicate small pieces of electronics and they can wiggle loose and those kind of things so they have to be stabilized.
Then, when you wash, you use some pretty harsh chemicals to kill things and they can take coatings off.
We're on the third version of the sensor now and we're going to be testing it to make sure that they're doing what they're supposed to do for the industry.
Dr. Fonstad says it's hoped that field testing of the sensors in trailers can begin by September.
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