When you buy from Cellular Tracking Technologies, you are buying into an ecosystem of hardware, software, and services that have all been developed to make you and your research successful. Through our tightly integrated suite of tools, the value of the system is greater than the sum of its parts.
This migratory movement of this Golden Eagle demonstrates the power of Flight Mode GPS data collection. More than 20,000 GPS fixes are displayed here (zoom in for full detail) from a 2 month period.
The most important component of each tracking device we sell is the Evolution Operating System (EvOS). This is the software system that controls every activity of the tracking device to maximize data collection and minimize power consumption. Building the tiniest tracking devices requires pushing the extreme limits of mobile device engineering, and every line of code is carefully considered and custom-built just for the wildlife tracking application. EvOS has required many years of engineering R&D, and we do not make this software available to any other vendor to run on their devices.
While quality location data is typically the first item in a biologist’s list when they’re looking for telemetry hardware, being able to collect other types of sensor data is important as well. The Evolution Operating System supports connecting a myriad of sensors such as temperature, tri-axial accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope. This rich data builds on top of your location dataset to provide additional context for movement ecology.
You probably already considered how frequently you need a GPS position, but this is just the tip of the iceberg of the duty cycles necessary to optimize power consumption in an advanced telemetry device. Our hardware is uniquely capable of assigning very powerful duty cycles that control rates of data collection, frequency of data transmission, and more. To meet the needs of the most challenging projects, different duty cycles can even be assigned by season at the time of release and during device updates.
For every research project, there are different data collection priorities. For some projects, the focus is on collecting the maximum amount of data during migratory flight, and other projects are most concerned about habitat utilization around a home range. For some projects, they are concerned most about activity within a certain boundary whether it be an airport, energy project, or home range territory. Our duty cycles can be driven by polygons that you specify as geofences.
Higher Quality & More Frequent GPS Positions
Back in the day when Argos transmitters that could send perhaps a dozen fixes a day were the state-of-the-art, no one could have dreamed of having a GPS fix every few seconds like Cellular Tracking Technologies made possible. The ability to see the finest details of movement during flight gives us unprecedented insights into behavioral research subjects.
In order to collect the maximum amount of location data, we prioritize collecting data according to your research plan. One of these capabilities is called Flight Mode which allows you to collect a GPS position as frequently as every few seconds while your research subject is in flight. This allows you to collect an incredible number of data points while preserving battery life because this frequency does not need to be sustained while the research subject is at rest. We have also built a number of systems within each tracker that allow us to increase the quality of individual fixes through optimizing the GPS receiver.
More Than Specifications
Over the past few years, more and more telemetry companies are offering GPS-GSM devices, but not all trackers are created equal. Every company has access to the same chips for making hardware, and many of the components themselves are even the same between vendors. If you are trying to compare telemetry devices based on the model number of the modem, you may find that they are even the same. This is why the hardware specifications are converging from different vendors. If you ask hardware experts though, they will tell you that buying the right chips is only a very small percentage of the puzzle. Quality mobile devices have very little to do with the specifications and everything to do with how they are engineered.
What is far more important than the list of components is how the circuit boards are designed and how all of the components work together. While anyone could go out and hire an engineering firm to connect a modem to a GPS, a processor, and some memory, you’ll find the results are very disappointing without extensive experience in building wildlife telemetry products and writing software. Not unlike a smartwatch, the components are all similar among small mobile devices, but it has taken more than a decade of engineering, field experience, prototyping, and testing for Cellular Tracking Technologies to have developed the most innovative and reliable telemetry system in the world. Our hardware is the culmination of 11 years of perfecting the art of GPS-GSM telemetry. With our proprietary combination of circuitboard design, power management, and software, we are able to do data collection that the other companies can only dream of.