SPOT-F (Fastloc®) tags are highly accurate satellite transmitting tags designed for monitoring fine-scale horizontal movements of free-ranging marine animals.
Fastloc technology is what sets these tags apart. Fastloc uses GPS to acquire highly accurate locations in under a second which are subsequently transmitted through the Argos satellite system. Fastloc allows for tracking animals that surface too quickly for a traditional GPS or Argos fix. Additionally, a Fastloc tag is able to acquire highly accurate positions every few minutes compared to a maximum of a few dozen a day with Argos-only tags.
SPOT-F tags work best for marine animals that are at the surface regularly like sea turtles, marine mammals, and some sharks but particularly those that surface quickly like dolphins and small whales.
SPOT-F tags are currently available in fin mounted models for sharks and small cetaceans and can be made in other configurations. Contact Wildlife Computers about the best solution for your research animal. Fastloc is also available in a variety of shapes and sizes on our SPLASH tags.
Key Benefits of Fastloc
- Highly accurate to 20 m.
- Fast acquisition—once the animal surfaces, a location can be achieved in a fraction of a second. Very little surface exposure is needed.
- Validation pre-storing—only successful locations are saved and transmitted to save processing time and battery power.
- Flexible scheduling—fixes can be scheduled at regular intervals or duty-cycled depending on the day or season.
Other Key Features Available in SPOT-F Configurations
- Specialized Shapes and Attachments—SPOT-F tags can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes. Possible attachment options may include back mount, fin mount, flipper mount, float mount, AUV mount, and towed.
- Recovery Pinger—SPOT-F tags are equipped with a UHF pinger. This optional pinger can be enabled to send out low-power, unmodulated “pings” while the tag is at the surface. Tags and animals can then be located and actively tracked using a directional antenna and receiver.
- Highly Customizable Data Collection and Transmitting Schedule—researchers can customize and prioritize data transmissions to capture the information that is most important for the project. Deployments can be tailored to address unique experimental objectives. Flexible transmission schedules provide the ability to extend the life of the tag by focusing on specific seasons or times of the year and optimizing transmissions for when satellites are in view.
- The Portal Advantage—SPOT-F 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, and sharing data. The portal has tools to program the tags and collect, prepare, analyze, and present the data returned via Argos. Data are easily sorted, filtered, searched, mapped, and shared. You can see a live map of your tracks, with positions color-coded by the time since deployment. You can also set up a live KMZ to view your data in your own visualization browser.
- Argos Locations
- Fastloc GPS Locations
- Time-At-Temperature Histogram (TAT)
- Percent-Dry Timeline
SPOT F 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.
Calculate locations from Fastloc® snapshots, satellite ephemerides, and seed locations. This software is an integrated component of the Wildlife Computers Data Portal and runs exclusively on our Internet servers.
Below are the physical specifications of the SPOT-F. Numerous shapes are available with the same feature-set technology.
* Conductivity Operational Limits can be customized for freshwater applications. Please contact Wildlife Computers to
** Specification is dependent upon the configuration model. You can see different SPOT configurations here.
For more information, visit our website at www. wildlifecomputers.com, send an email to tags@ wildlifecomputers.com, or call (425) 881-3048.
Tag features and specifications subject to change without notice
Antenna length not to scale