PLF case people

PhD Student:

  Shaojie Zhuang

Monitoring Techniques of Indoor Air Quality and Animal Behavior in Pig Farming

1/1/2016 - 31/12/2019 (collaboration between ILVO and UGent; Shaojie Zhuang has a scholarship from ILVO)

Promotor: Prof. Bart Sonck (UGent – Department of Biosystems Engineering, ILVO – Animal Sciences Unit), co-promotor: dr. Peter Demeyer (ILVO - Technology and Food Science Unit)

Shaojie Zhuang is a PhD student with specialization in animal health & welfare and sensor technologies. Ventilation is a process that closely relates to indoor air quality, emission level and animal welfare in livestock farming. Sufficient monitoring on these parameters is crucial for understanding the effect of different control regimes in a mechanically ventilated farm environment. The iSense – PLF project aims to develop cost-effective solutions for monitoring indoor air quality and animal behavior in pig farming. The air quality will focus on ammonia (NH3) and carbon-dioxide (CO2). Feasibility of measuring the gases using e.g. low-cost tuneable diode laser analysers (TDLA) and metal-oxide semiconductors (MOS) will be investigated. In addition, a smart multi-channel gas sampling system will be designed to assist the measurement process. The complete air quality monitoring system will be evaluated experimentally in a laboratory and validated against a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) under practical pig farming conditions. Animal behaviour will be monitored with an ultra-wideband (UWB) based indoor positioning system (IPS). An extensive performance evaluation of the IPS will be firstly carried out. Upon this basis a feature extraction algorithm will be developed to derive behaviour indicators of pigs. The usefulness of the derived indicators will be assessed based on camera recordings and health records. Finally, the air quality and animal behaviour monitoring system will be used together in a mechanically ventilated pig barn for studying the relationship amongst ventilation control scheme, air quality and animal behaviour.


  Prof. Bart Sonck (UGent)

ILVO promotor:

  dr. Peter Demeyer (ILVO)


  Annelies Van Nuffel (ILVO)

  Frank Tuyttens (ILVO)

  Jarissa Maselyne (ILVO)