The Argos system was created in 1978 by the French Space Agency (CNES), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), originally as a scientific tool for collecting and relaying meteorologic and oceanographic data around the world. In 1986, CNES created a subsidiary, CLS, to operate, maintain and commercialize the system. The same year, Service Argos, Inc, and North American CLS were created to serve North America user community. Today the two North American companies have merged, forming CLSAmerica.
Currently, several other international space agencies also actively participate in the Argos system including Eumetsat (European Organization of the Exploitation of Meterological Satellites), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and others.