Argos – What is Argos?
The Argos System is a constellation of weather observation satellites, on polar orbits, that are able to cover the globe. It uses a robust data transmission system that is able to pick up the weakest signals in the harshest of environments. Argos is extremely useful in remote environments or over oceans, where terrestrial networks are unavailable. CTT offers products that use Argos exclusively, or as a supplemental technology, to provide frequent updates while the tracking device is out of the GSM coverage area.
Automated Radio Tag Telemetry
Base Station – Can my Vulture or Eagle GSM tracker receive LifeTag signals from other species?
Yes, our larger transmitter styles have a LifeTag receiver option. Since Vultures and Eagles fly at very high altitudes, their receiving range is very substantial, and can exceed the range of fixed Base Stations! Data is stored on the GSM device and transmitted along with other telemetry data, with priority given to the GSM transmitter data.
Base Station – How do I get my data from the Base Station?
We have a variety of options, depending on budget and requirements. Base Station data can be retrieved using SD card or transmitted over Cellular, when purchased with a CTT data plan. In remote areas, satellite connectivity can be used to provide summary data on how many tags were detected, storage capacity, battery life, and base station health.
Positioning – How is GNSS better than GPS?
GPS stands for Global Positioning System, and is operated by the United States Air Force. GNSS stands for Global Navigation Satellite System and encompasses GPS as well as 4 other navigation systems: GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, and QZSS.
All Cellular Tracking Technologies devices make use of all 5 systems and are fully GNSS capable. In addition, we support all SBAS position correction systems.
Using more than one navigation system improves coverage, accuracy, performance and reduces power consumption. The time to first fix, the major consumer of energy on a wildlife telemetry device, is much lower when you use multiple systems.
If one system were to become unavailable or fail, the others can contribute to a position solution. Also, some systems, such as GLONASS, work better in the polar regions than GPS.
GSM – How does your GSM/Cellular Technology work?
Our line of wildlife telemetry products collect an intensive amount of data from a variety of sensors, including global positioning (GNSS), acceleration, activity, temperature, as well as a variety of optional sensors. Unlike traditional satellite networks, the GSM network is able to transmit large amounts of data to the cloud. Our technology is able to select the best available network (2G, 3G, or 4G) to reliability transmit data. If coverage is unavailable, data is stored until networks are available. For example, our transmitters can easily transmit entire 6 month data sets from species returning from polar regions. Our GSM technology can even work in conjunction with satellite service, providing frequent summary check ins while out of the coverage area.
Argos/GSM Hybrid – Can I configure how Argos works with GSM to reduce cost?
While Argos provides global coverage, it can be costly. This is why our transmitters can be intelligent on how they make use of Argos.
Argos can be programmed to transmit only when out of GSM coverage areas, cutting Argos costs in half or more. Argos can also be configured to transmit on a weekly or monthly basis, further dropping Argos data fees.
SmartVHF – What is SmartVHF?
SmartVHF is a VHF pinger that can intelligently turn on when certain conditions are met. They can be configured for any VHF frequency, and the frequency can even be changed after deployment. SmartVHF works with all existing VHF receivers, requiring no new investments. Some examples of SmartVHF:
- Ping at a set interval continuously
- Ping when mortality, injury or sickness is detected
- Ping when requested by the website (Similar to "Find My Phone")
SmartVHF – Do you offer an internal VHF antenna option?
Yes, for our larger transmitter styles, we offer an internal antenna function. This allows for better ergonomics with some species. The range is only slightly reduced compared to external VHF antennas.
Ultra Long Range Radio
ULR – What is the range of your ULR system?
ULR, or Ultra Long Range, makes use of a new spread spectrum technology and protocol stack. This means that signals which would normally go unheard can now be reliability transmitted.
The ULR system works at both 868MHz and 915MHz bands, allowing for operation worldwide. These frequencies allow unlicensed transmission at substantially high power than other VHF and UHF telemetry systems. Finally, antennas are also much shorter than other VHF and UHF systems, reducing weight and size.
Ranges can easily be several 1-5 kilometers in heavily obstructed environments at ground level, and over 20 kilometers when the transmitter is line-of-sight. Avian species will enjoy the longest ranges, as line of sight increases as the altitude increases.