ARBIMON stands for automated remote biodiversity monitoring network. This clever system was developed by scientists at the University of Puerto Rico to record the sounds made by animals in rainforests.
Various listening stations are posted all over the world using an iPod, a battery, a voltage converter, a preamp — to make sure the wildlife calls are clear — and a router. This hardware is enclosed in a watertight case and a 50-watt solar panel keeps everything running. Each station relies on an iPod application that can record as much as 144 minute-long audio recordings daily.
The audio is collected and sent over a 900MHz signal to a base station (up to a 24 mile range) and then it's uploaded over teh intarwebz to a server in Puerto Rico. Special software works on identifying the species on the recordings automatically, and the server is capable of processing more than 100,000 recordings per hour. Scientists can use the audio data to identify endangered species or other significant anomalies from rain forests near and far without having to, you know, actually go outside themselves.
Via Ars Technica