Argos is a satellite-based system that collects, processes, and disseminates environmental data from fixed and mobile platforms worldwide. What makes Argos unique is the ability to geographically locate the source of the data anywhere on the Earth utilizing the Doppler effect. The Argos system itself comprises of six satellites, which follow polar orbits at an altitude of about 850km (530 miles), 50 terrestrial receiving stations, and two data processing centers. Unlike the Global Positioning System (GPS) that needs a minimum of three satellites to be in range to pinpoint an object’s location, Argos requires just one satellite to “see” a transmitter to do this.
The Argos platform allows engineers, scientists, researchers, students around the worked to track environmental things. Argos transmitters have been deployed on plastics tracking and animals, especially marine mammals like walruses and sea turtles. They easily find applications requiring long-distance movement tracking of both coastal and oceanic species.
In as much Argos provides an avenue to deploy environmental applications, the transmitters used for them don’t usually come cheap. They are mostly closed source, meaning integrating into a custom solution is almost impossible. This is a daunting challenge, especially for a researcher working on custom projects different from the everyday use of Argos. This is the challenge Arribada has decided to address by creating an open ARGOS transmitter reference design in an Arduino style like settings called the Arribada Horizon.
How could we include ARGOS satellite telemetry within the design of the Arribada Horizon sea turtle tag to enable our users to track migratory sea turtles?
Arribada already offers an inter-nestal tag that enables users to track sea turtles migration movement. The inspiration for the Arribada Horizon open-source initiative came from the contest hosted by CLS to develop an open-source transmitter. Arribada team up with Icoteq Ltd, a wireless technology engineering firm for the development of the transmitter, and is in partnership with CLS telemetry to launch the Horizon. A fully featured plug-and-play biologging platform that can be used to transmit to ARGOS satellites from anywhere.