Data is the cornerstone of any research project. It is important to not only program your tags properly but to maximize the transmission throughput to the Argos satellites. Learning how to time your transmissions to occur when satellites are overhead can be a labor-intensive process. However, Wildlife Computers made it easy with a Shiny App that will tell you which hours the satellites will be overhead and how many transmissions you should use to reach a certain probability of reception.
Here are the steps you should take in order to use the app:
- Go to argos-system.org and log into your account.
- Remember that all Wildlife Computers tags operate using Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Adjust your Argos settings accordingly.
- In the Dashboard, click on the ‘Satellite pass prediction’ icon
- Specify your simulation period
- Keep all satellites selected
- Choose your location
- Recommended settings: Altitude = 0, Min Elevation = 5, Min Duration = 0
- Click ‘Simulate’
- When you see the ‘Pass predictions list’ click ‘Export’ and choose ‘CSV’.
- Open the Shiny app by clicking this link: https://wcapps.shinyapps.io/argospassprediction/
- Click the ‘Browse’ button to upload the recently downloaded .csv file from Argos.
- Adjust the Separator and Date-Time Specifications according to the settings you have in Argos. (The default for the app is comma-separated and months before days.)
- View some pretty figures of the pass prediction.
- Tab 1: “Best transmission hours” shows the number of satellite passes per hour of the day.
- Tab 2: “Transmission success probability” shows the probability of receipt vs number of transmissions
- If you do not see any figures, adjust the ‘Separator’ and ‘Date-Time Specification’ to match the data you are trying to upload. Do one thing at a time and allow the app to react before trying a different setting. You can also verify your output by going into the ‘Settings’ in your Argos account to see how you have your dates formatted.
Look for the Argos Pass Analysis link in the Wildlife Computers Data Portal.