The CTT Story
Determined to find a better way, Mike embarked on a mission to develop the technology himself. He needed help, but who—or what company—could help him develop this groundbreaking technology?
After reading an article from May 2006 entitled "Build-it-yourself Cell Phones", Mike emailed Casey Halverson, a Seattle-based inventor of mobile devices, in September 2006.
Intrigued by the challenge of this project, but with zero experience in the field of ornithology, Casey nevertheless agreed to help Mike develop the necessary technology. Throughout 2007, they worked to bring the first prototypes to life. In August 2007, Mike, Casey, and fellow biologist Dr. Todd Katzner founded Cellular Tracking Technologies (CTT).
After many prototypes and software updates, the transmitter evolved from a crude prototype to a final design.
In early November 2007, the first GPS + GSM wildlife tracking device was deployed on a Golden Eagle, collecting position information every 30 seconds, then transmitting over the cellular network. Because of this GPS + GSM technology, Golden Eagle ridge line flights and thermals could be shown on map visualizations. Using a 3D tracking visualization tool, we were able to recreate this Golden Eagle's flight.
In 2009, CTT upgraded its headquarters from Mike's kitchen table to an office in Donegal, Pennsylvania—much to Trish's relief! Mike finally took the plunge, becoming CTT's first full-time employee. The office was relocated in 2011 to Somerset, Pennsylvania, where CTT remained headquartered for the next 4 years.
Visualization of the First GSM+GPS Transmitter
In 2015, CTT relocated to Cape May, New Jersey, one of the world's premier birding locations. By this time, CTT had grown to a staff of 6 full-time employees. In 2016, Casey finally quit his day job and became the company's full-time Chief Operating Officer.
In 2017, CTT launched the LifeTag, based on groundbreaking batteryless technology. This new digital radio tag could last the life of a tagged bird, a first for the industry. CTT, yet again, revolutionized wildlife telemetry.
CTT engineered and introduced other digital radio technology over the next several years, including nodes, base stations, portable locators, and both battery and solar-rechargeable battery tags.
By 2018, it was clear that CTT's Cape May location, with 12 employees squeezed into a 1,000 square-foot building, was inadequate. In collaboration with county officials, a "tech village" was envisioned at Cape May Airport, to include CTT's new headquarters. Groundbreaking occurred in 2019, with construction completed in 2020. By 2021, CTT occupied 2 additional units, for a total space of almost 20,000 square feet.
Today, CTT offers a wide variety of products, from LTE Cellular to Iridium satellite transmitters, and a full range of radio tags for animals of all sizes. Our tags are deployed worldwide, and connect on every carrier.
CTT continues to innovate the wildlife telemetry space, pushing the boundaries of what is possible.