SPOT (Smart Position and Temperature) Transmitting Tags



When at the surface, SPOT tags send out short transmissions to the Argos satellite system. Consecutive transmissions received in a single satellite pass are used to calculate the location of the transmitter. Locations are available online in near real time with accuracies as good as 250 m.

Attachment Options: Glue on, fin mount, flipper mount, float mount, AUV mount, towed, and anchored.

Size Options: Ranging from 30 grams to 390 grams and in over 50 shapes for marine animal, float, and UAV applications.

Complete Flexibility in Argos Uplink Schedule

The SPOT Argos uplink schedule is completely user-customizable. The researcher has the power to decide how many transmissions to attempt each hour of the day. This allows the temporal resolution to be increased during parts of the day or year that are of greatest interest. Transmissions can be suspended and battery power saved when Argos satellite coverage is poor or when animal locations are known.

D’Alessandro Shark

© Evan D’Alessandro/

Key Features


The Portal Advantage

SPOT tags are supported by the Wildlife Computers Data Portal, a collection of data management tools and services. Developed specifically for the display and investigation of data from Wildlife Computers tags, the data portal streamlines the processes of acquiring, preserving, viewing, and sharing SPOT location and temperature data.

Consulting Services

Our consultation team—which includes on-staff biologists—works to understand your project goals including what data you need, what animal you are researching, environment, and more. The team uses the knowledge gathered over the last 30 years on best practices, techniques, and procedures to make recommendations for getting the data you need to meet your objectives.

Power Savings

SPOT tags incorporate a battery-saving transmission regime to help prolong tag life while optimizing data reception. Short, three-byte messages are sent whenever data is not in the queue. Sending shorter messages takes less power and prolongs tag life.


The SPOT includes a pinger for radio tracking. Animals can be located and assets recovered with the use of a directional antenna and receiver.

Specialized Shapes

SPOT tags are available in many shapes to suit a variety of taxa. Wildlife Computers partnered with the research community to refine each configuration for its intended application. The sensors and antenna placement, attachment mechanism, abrasion protection, size, weight, and hydrodynamics of each shape have been carefully considered and specialized to optimize performance, maximize retention, and minimize animal impact.

Value-added Extras

Wildlife Computers not only provides tracking technology but also mounting equipment and best practice instructions for proper tag attachment. Attachment gear is available for epoxy bonding, fin and flipper bolting, subdermal anchoring, and tethering instrumentation with a connected float.

Data Products

Data products that can be transmitted:

  • Argos Doppler Locations
  • Percent-Dry Timelines
  • Time-at-Temperature Histograms

User Guide/Software


SPOT User Guide
This user guide gives you all the essential information needed for interacting with, configuring, and deploying this tag.
64-bit USB Driver 18-Dec-2017
Driver for the Wildlife Computers USB Communications cable. A 32-bit version is available on our Downloads page.
Tag Agent
Administer settings to your tag.


Below are the general physical specifications of SPOT tags.

Pressure rating2000 m for most shapes
Operating frequency401.678 MHz
SensorsTemperature, Wet/Dry
TemperatureRange: -40° C to 60° C / Resolution: 0.05° C / Accuracy: +/-0.1° C
Conductivity operational limits0.1 to 5 S/m
CommunicationVia USB port using Wildlife Computers USB communications cable

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