Which to use?
Radio is an excellent type of signal to use when tracking animals, in part because radio waves can transmit information rapidly and for long distances in air. Radio signals can also be made to transmit effectively in fresh water, but not through salt water.
Radio biotelemetry can be used in water, on land or in the sky. A huge range of animals can be tracked with this technology: radio tags and collars that can be placed on fish, birds, mammals and amphibians of almost any size, from tiny salmon smolts to full-grown elephants.
Acoustic biotelemetry is generally used to monitor those creatures living or moving in deep water or salt water habitats. We offer acoustic systems to track a wide variety of marine inhabitants, such as salmon, trout, plaice, cod, crabs, sea turtles, and many others.
Three different types of acoustic telemetry systems for fisheries monitoring (Rcode, MAP and JSATS) have evolved over the years from specific research questions, data requirements and environmental constraints. Each system evolved to address a specific application space. Outside the respective application space, each system will be less effective than the system designed for that particular application space. No one system performs optimally in all application spaces.
Satellite wildlife collars include GPS, Argos and Iridium solutions. GPS, Argos and Iridium systems are used to track animals such as coyotes, wolves, caribou, sheep, cattle, mountain lions, bears, moose, deer and cougars, as well as sea turtles, marine mammals and birds.
The collars take advantage of services afforded by two multiple-satellite systems, the “Global Positioning System” (GPS) and the “Advanced Research and Global Observation Satellite” (Argos).
Geolocation/TDR tags collect and store information on depth, temperature and light (geolocation). These tags offer an excellent alternative for monitoring aquatic, avian and terrestrial species when radio or acoustic telemetry is not possible or practical.
Dual mode systems combine different monitoring technologies for use in multiple habitats, or to record multiple types of data, or to enable tracking via multiple receiving platforms.
Dual mode transmitters are designed to allow a single transmitter to be detected, decoded and logged by more than one receiving technology, thereby leveraging infrastructure from multiple vendors and allowing for collaboration amongst scientists. For example, our combined acoustic/radio tags are capable of transmitting signals in both radio and/or acoustic mode, allowing researchers to monitor species that move between marine and freshwater environments without having to double-tag them.