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Electronics Lab

Researchers in biology use many different technical support systems. We adapt existing technology to experimental setups and we also develop completely new solutions when needed.

An interior view from the Electonics Lab showing a work bench with a lot of tools.

Our competences

  • Biology - help with experimental design involving technology
  • Electronic design
  • Programming
  • Data modelling, data collection and processing
  • Support for acquisition of measuring equipment and other technical devices

Equipment

We have a well equipped lab with possibilities to build prototypes, perform measurements and much more. A selection of the instruments we have:

  • Light meters: spectrometer, radiometer
  • Signal- & function generators
  • Oscilloscopes
  • Spectrum analysers
  • Protocol analysers, logic analysers
  • Development systems for microcontrollers
  • Magnetometer and other standard instruments for physical quantities
  • Circuit simulators and CAD tools

User fees

Do not hesitate to contact us if you do not yet have a grant. We do not charge a user fee for idea presentations and shorter consultations and we are also happy to assist with the technical texts in your applications for funding. Otherwise: SEK400/h applies until further notice and for users at the Biological Department. For other users within Lund University; SEK800/h.

Example projects we have done

RFID

RFID means "Radio Frequency IDentification" (Wikipedia). This is a radio-based technology for reading information wirelessly from circuits or a "chip". Usually the distance is relatively short and the information transferred is limited to an ID number or sometimes a small amount of sensor data. We have built a number of RFID readers for the identification of bird individuals and have been involved in work related to data storage, acquisition of reader equipment or building an entire field equipment for RFID reading.

 A lot of small rod is on a table together with a match to show the sizes of the rods. One  rod is around a forth of the match length.

Datalogger

Since about 2013, we have spent a lot of time developing a miniature data logger that stores information about how animals move and their positions. In the majority of cases, the data loggers have been used on migratory birds, but we have also used the dataloggers in studies of fish and stationary birds. Loggers can measure activity, position, pressure (= altitude) and temperature. Data is stored in a memory along with timestamps and one has to re-collect the dataloggers to empty the memory of the information.

A photo collage of three photos. The first shows a data logger placed on a human thumb nail. The second shows a 2 cm long sender. The last photo shows a bird with the data logger and sender placed as a backpack.

Radio telemetry

On the Falsterbo peninsula, we have contructed a system with radio receivers covering the entire land area that estimates positions of bats and birds tagged with radio transmitters. The receiver stations communicate with a central data collection server via a wifi network that covers several kilometers.

A man is adjusting an antennae. The man is photographed from below with the blue sky as a background.

Tracking radar

We have modified an old military tracking radar so that it is now adapted to save detailed flight paths for birds and other flying animals. The system can measure flight paths on individual small birds at more than 5km distance and flocks of birds even furthr away. In addition, the system can measure the wing-beat frequency of individual birds.

A truck with a radar on the roof is standing on a meadow. Behind and in front of the truck there are other research equipment.

Database design

We have designed several databases for structured storage of data, usually in the form of relational databases that follow the SQL standard. When you have projects or machines that generate large amounts of data, it is a great advantage or sometimes even necessary to save data in a real database. It greatly facilitates processing, analysis, archiving and documentation.

A screen shot from database entries with white text on black background.

Camera surveillance

Inside the roof of the Ecology building are a large number of nestboxes, integrated in the building already during construction. We have built an ethernet network to be able to set up IP cameras in those nestboxes that have residents. The system activates a recording of the video stream as soon as a camera detects motion. All videos are saved on a central server for further analysis.

Screen shots from webcams in nesting boxes.

Weather station

Another installation high above ground - this time on the outside roof - is a weather station we set up in 2014. You can see current data <a>here</a>. Weather data is stored in a database. If you would like to have historical data to use in any study you have done, just contact us.

A landscape with mountains in the background and grass in the foreground.

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Contact

Our electronics lab is situated at the 4th  floor in the Ecology Building. Here we have a well equipped workshop with tools to design, build and service prototype electronics. Due to safety reasons the lab is closed, but you are very welcome to visit us. Contact Arne Andersson or Johan Bäckman.

Arne Andersson and Johan Bäckman work in the lab. Arne is physicist with life-long experience in electronics design, especially microcontroller & radio technology but also a birdwatcher. Johan has a PhD in behavioural ecology but has actually made his living mainly on programming, data modelling and electronics design.

Arne Andersson

Arne Andersson
Research engineer
Evolutionary Ecology

Telephone: +46 46-222 93 10
Email: Arne [dot] Andersson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Johan Bäckman

Johan Bäckman
Research engineer
Evolutionary Ecology

Telephone: +46 46-222 37 88
Email: Johan [dot] Backman [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se