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Wildlife Tracker Off For Worldwide Trials

22 April 2002

Christchurch electronics company SPEDA has just shipped ten
wildlife-tracking devices for international evaluation and field trials

The tracking devices are the result of an intensive research and
development project designed to help conservationists and wildlife experts
keep closer, yet less intrusive, tabs on animals.

Developed for Landcare's subsidiary, Sirtrack Limited, the "DSP II
receiver" prototype was introduced to world markets late last year and
that interest has translated into worldwide field trials for the tracking,
tracing and receiving units.

Unlike existing systems, which need hardware modifications to track
different animals on different frequencies, SPEDA's breakthrough
technology can be configured through a PC and set up to track 200
channels, or 200 different animals, with one unit.

The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology assisted the research
with funding of $39,000, through Technology New Zealand's Technology for
Business Growth scheme.

SPEDA's Engineering Manager Andrew Hunter says the Technology New Zealand
assistance underpinned the project and also resulted in SPEDA adding a
specialist to its staff to complete the project.

"A particular highlight for us has been the advancement of the technology,
which gives us a head start in developing other products. This was the
first project that we have done in totality for a New Zealand client, from
concept to end product and it would have been impossible to fund the R&D
out of cash flow," says Mr Hunter.

Mr Hunter is confident SPEDA's clever technology will excite
conservationists in what he believes to be the first move away from the
conventional tracking receiver systems.


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