Q&A: Dean Thompson about bat detectors, acoustic and ultrasonic monitoring, and also wind turbines.

Dean Thompson, the CEO of Titley Scientific, shared the latest developments in the company, including their expansion in the United States and the launch of a new product in the field of acoustic monitoring for wildlife


Titley Scientific which is, by the way, the world’s number one producer of bat detectors, is launching a new acoustic and ultrasonic monitoring device called the Ranger. The Ranger combines acoustic and ultrasonic recording features and allows passive monitoring of the activity of bats, frogs, koalas, and other vocalising animal species for up to 100 nights. Ranger combines the best properties of two of its predecessors, the Chorus and the Swift. The Ranger is designed to replace the Swift and offers a range of new qualities, including an extended recording time of up to 100 nights, and the ability to record stereo audio and ultrasonic sounds simultaneously on an SD card. It is the only product on the market that can do so. The new Ranger unit can be also connected to a solar panel for long-term use.


What were your reasons to bring a new bat detector to the market?

The reasons behind the development of a new product were twofold. Firstly, we wanted to enable more efficient manufacturing. The Ranger is easier to assemble and more efficient to make. Secondly, we responded to our customers’ calls for longer battery life and ease of use. After about a year of development, we are releasing this new product with improved features to better compete in the market and gain more market share in the acoustic market. The new product is designed to surpass the competition in every aspect.

Titley Scientific is the bat detector brand of choice in Australia and the UK. Who are your customers and what are your detectors used for?

Our customers are researchers, environmental consulting firms, government departments including the military, and hobbyists, who utilize our devices for monitoring wildlife on their properties. They use it to identify the species of animals present, and to understand the impact of their activities on the local wildlife population. This information helps them make informed management decisions and take necessary measures to ensure the conservation of wildlife.

Interestingly, with the increasing use of wind turbines globally, there is a growing need for accurate surveys to assess the presence of bats and birds in the area before and after installation. Wildlife researchers and consultants use our acoustic monitoring systems to detect the presence of bats or birds to prevent them to be harmed by wind turbines. Perhaps unexpectedly, often the harm is not caused by the mechanical movement of the turbines but the low-pressure air around the spinning turbines lung collapse in bats, making it impossible for them to breathe.


Is there use for your detectors in other industries?

Ultrasonic microphones have a wide range of applications beyond wildlife monitoring. Our microphones, both ultrasonic and acoustic, could be used for condition monitoring of vehicles or machinery. By listening for ultrasonic noise, it is possible to detect signs of wear and tear in equipment before it fails completely. This can lead to preventative maintenance, improving reliability and preventing costly breakdowns.

Another application of ultrasonic microphones is gunshot detection and triangulation. By setting up an array of microphones, the direction and source of gunfire can be accurately determined. These microphones have a variety of practical applications and are used in a range of industries and environments.


About Titley Scientific

The company was founded in 1979 and underwent major changes when Elexon took over in late 2012. Under the new management, the company streamlined its product line to focus solely on bat and acoustic monitoring. Titley Scientific discontinued their wildlife tracking products, such as radio transmitters, and put their resources into developing new and innovative wildlife recorders. The very first new product was specifically designed for the UK market, and quickly became number 1.