[MARMAM] New publication on performance of new devices called Motes to enhance Argos message recovery.

Tiphaine Jeanniard du Dot tiphainejdd at gmail.com
Wed Jul 12 06:21:45 PDT 2017

Dear all,

I am pleased to announce the publication of the article entitled "Motes
enhance data recovery from satellite-relayed biologgers and can facilitate
collaborative research into marine habitat utilization" in Animal
Biotelemetry. The article is open access so the full text can be downloaded
from the following links:

Direct link:

Shortened link: http://rdcu.be/t76N

Jeanniard-du-Dot, T., K. Holland, G. S. Schorr and D. Vo (2017). "Motes
enhance data recovery from satellite-relayed biologgers and can facilitate
collaborative research into marine habitat utilization." Animal
Biotelemetry 5(1): 17. DOI: 10.1186/s40317-017-0132-0

Background: The fields of biologging and telemetry have triggered
significant advances in the understanding of animal behavior, physiological
ecology and habitat utilization. Biologging devices (“tags”) can also
measure aspects of the physical and biological characteristics of the
animals’ environment. As marine ecosystems are less accessible than
terrestrial ones and marine animals more elusive and difficult to study,
data collected by tags attached to marine animals often have to be relayed
via satellite. However, satellite availability is not continuous and
decreases with decreasing latitude. Consequently, collection of sufficient
data is even more challenging in the tropics and mid-latitudes than at the
poles. To overcome this limitation and increase data throughput from
biologgers, new land-based receiving stations (called Motes) that can
receive, log and relay messages from devices transmitting on the Argos
satellite frequency have been developed.
Methods: We investigated the performance of Motes as enhancers of recovery
of signals transmitted by tags normally destined for satellite relay. We
quantified Mote reception range, coverage area, data throughput and data
corruption rates and examined factors that might impact these parameters.
To do so, we used all signals detected by two arrays of Motes installed in
the Hawaiian Islands and in Southern California between latitudes 22 and
33°N. Second, using data from 12 sharks and 12 whales tagged near the two
Mote arrays, we assessed how increased data recovery translated into
improved ability to interpret the behavior of the tagged animals.
Results: Motes were capable of receiving up to 100% of messages transmitted
within their reception range and overall presented a ~three- to fivefold
increase in data message recovery compared to satellites alone. Message
reception performance of Motes depended on their coverage area which in
turn was affected by station elevation, the presence or not of obstacles
within their line of sight, and the directionality of antennas.
Conclusions: The increased quantity of data enabled improved biological
interpretation of the animals studied. As such, Motes can improve our
knowledge of marine animals’ ecology in relation to their physical and
biological environments. Large-scale Mote arrays could potentially
facilitate collaborative multi-disciplinary research projects, resulting in
better ecosystem conservation and management.

We hope you'll enjoy the reading and don't hesitate to spread the word!


Tiphaine Jeanniard-du-Dot


Tiphaine Jeanniard-du-Dot, PhD
Fisheries and Oceans Canada/Marine mammal biology and conservation
Institut Maurice-Lamontagne
850 Route de la Mer, P.O. Box 1000
Mont-Joli, QC, G5H 3Z4, CANADA
Cell:+1-604-724-4230 / Fax: +1-418-775-0740
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