29 Jan Initializing SPOT or SPLASH Tags
Why is the initialization process important?
Note: Do not initialize pop-up tags
We highly recommend tag initialization prior to deployment for our SPOT and SPLASH tags to help ensure locations are received as quickly as possible after deployment, regardless of animal behavior. Tag initialization allows Argos to determine a quality location prior to the tagged animal being released. This is significant because the Kalman filtering algorithm uses measurements from both the current satellite pass and from previous satellite passes (such as during testing at Wildlife Computers) to calculate positions and requires an initial quality location. A quality location is achieved when four or more messages are successfully received by Argos during a single satellite pass.
If a good quality “seed” location is not achieved prior to deployment, then it must be obtained while on the animal. This can be problematic, as it can take several days, even weeks, for surfacing behavior to allow for a quality location hit while deployed. After a good quality seed location is achieved, location estimates are possible from only one or two messages per pass. A seed location must be obtained within four days of deployment.
Tag initialization allows you to provide that necessary high-quality “seed location” for the Argos system.
- This should be done near your deployment site rather than at a remote location.
- If you are in an area without an Internet connection, please refer to “Offline Mode” in your tag’s user manual.
To initialize your tags, you need to turn the tags on and leave them outside in good view of the sky.
There are two options for choosing when to put the tag out.
- You can leave them out for four to six hours to give them a chance to be picked up by whichever Argos satellites are passing during that time frame. Or,
- You can run a pass prediction report via the Argos website, and place the tags outside during a known satellite pass time.
If you need additional help, consult your tag’s user guide or review the following documents:
Utilizing Argos Pass Prediction Software – https://bit.ly/utilizingargospasspredictionsoftware
How to Maximize Satellite Coverage – https://bit.ly/howtomaximizesatellitecoverage
Argos Pass Analysis App – http://bit.ly/argospassprediction