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Enhancements to the Argos System - Benefits to Biotelemetry

Jeffrey Wingenroth, Service Argos, Inc., 1801 McCormick Drive, Suite 10, Largo, MD 20774 USA

The Argos Data Collection and Location Satellite System is operated under a partnership agreement between NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration - USA) and CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales - France) to provide a worldwide in-situ environmental data collection and Doppler-derived location service.

The most significant use of Argos involves the location and collection of data associated with worldwide scientific programs that study oceans (buoys and floats), animals (birds, marine and terrestrial animals), and the atmosphere.

During 1994 and 1995, surveys of the major international users of Argos were conducted to obtain their perspective on Argos system capabilities. The results indicated that certain Argos system Users' requirements could only be addressed through modification of the satellite instrument along with associated changes in ground system management. The User requirements are summarized as follows:

Argos enhancements begin with the launch of NOAA-K in early 1998. This satellite will carry the first Argos-2 instrument, featuring a wider bandwidth, increased onboard satellite processing capabilities, and a more sensitive onboard receiver. This translates into greater system capacity, higher data throughput, and lower Argos transmitter power requirements.

Beginning in 1999, with the launch of the Japanese satellite, ADEOS-2, Argos will introduce Downlink Messaging. This will provide an ability to remotely control platforms, leading to greater flexibility, improved performance, and generally more effective and economical data collection by satellite.

Argos-3, featuring still greater capability, is being planned for future satellite systems, such as the European METOP series and the converged U.S. NPOESS system.

This paper discusses the impact of these improvements on the biotelemetry community.

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