You have just received your funding, won the grant, closed that contract, or scrounged together a few dollars to launch a telemetry project. You only have one shot to make it work, and you know that there is a lot riding on making your project successful. When the stakes are high, that’s when you want to buy Cellular Tracking Technologies.
This map shows years of highly reliable data from one of Cellular Tracking Technology’s GPS-GSM modules deployed on a Black Vulture.
Making wildlife telemetry equipment is easy to do, but it is exceptionally hard to do well. Every aspect of our GPS-GSM hardware and software has gone through numerous revisions over more than a decade, and we bring this experience to every device that we sell.
Working Together for Your Research
We understand that you have many choices when buying telemetry hardware, and we want you to buy the equipment that is right for your research. After working with our team, we will let you know if we do not think that our telemetry equipment is right for you because we respect your research and want to be there for you the next time you have a project where we can be of more help.
Our telemetry devices may not appear to be the most affordable option up front, but it is important to consider the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). With Cellular Tracking Technologies, you know your costs up front, and they are transparent.
With other telemetry solutions, your cost needs to include the expense of trips to the field to recapture birds, the time required to manage data that is emailed or texted instead of being collected by servers, the cost to telemeter more birds to increase the chance that enough of them work, the cost of having a device that begins to act up after deployment that you can’t reconfigure remotely. All of these costs can add up very quickly, and many of them appear suddenly as unbudgeted expenses.
With Cellular Tracking Technologies, the quality of our devices, the ability to remotely manage configurations, the central data management servers, and the breadth of the network coverage all help you to keep your costs predictable and within budget. Even the ongoing data plan for GPS-GSM devices costs less than a 3 day data collection trip. By having predictable costs, you can increase your chances of finishing your project on time and under budget.
We have designed our Evolution Series GPS-GSM platform to allow endless configuration options while running on the same internal brain. The Evolution Operating System was built from the ground up for modularity. Whether you need to add an additional radio, upgrade the solar panels, increase the size of the battery, change the ergonomics of the case, or add additional sensors, these can all be built on the same platform. This allows you to deploy a wide range of devices that can all share the same firmware, configurations, and data types. This helps you to more effectively manage your devices, manage your data, and consistently analyze data across projects.
When starting a tracking project, you need to carefully weigh the risk of different telemetry technologies. It is important to factor in data quality, cost, and likelihood of success. That last factor is one that is easy to overlook.
If your only method of retrieving high quality data is to recapture the same exact subject weeks or months later, the odds of success can be very low. Anything from a storm during migration to the unfortunate death of the animal leads to a 100% loss of data. Even with the best study design and the absolute lightest transmitters, there is a chance of complete project failure. The fact that you saved a few dollars or a few grams doesn’t matter when you finish your project with no data.
Our GPS-GSM devices are designed to give you the highest probability of success. By connecting to a global network of millions of cellular base stations, data can be frequently and reliably transmitted. Additionally, configuration changes can be regularly made to ensure that a device that starts struggling will keep collecting data (e.g., a bird that frequently roosts in dense foliage may need to be reprogrammed to use less power until it moves or leaves drop in the autumn). Because this functionality is integral to the design of our units, you can increase your likelihood of a successful research outcome on every deployment and every project.
We build our trackers to last for years, and we overengineer the systems wherever possible (as weight allows) to permit uninterrupted operation. While performance does decrease after several years (a fundamental property of lithium ion battery chemistry), we have experience updating the operational duty cycle of these devices to work within their changing power capabilities. Given a little biological luck (we hope for longevity for all of your study subjects!), you can run our trackers for many years.