Better transmission management, greater volume of data and two-way communication

Argos is a unique worldwide location and data collection system dedicated to studying and protecting the environment.

Flotteur Argo

Argos -3 system

The Argos system continuously undergoes new development. A team of full-time system engineers at CLS work on Argos with help from the CNES (French Space Agency) providing orbit statistics, new instrument development, new transmitter and sensor equipment.

The first Argos-3 instrument, including two-way communication and 4.8 kbps high data rate channel, was launched on board the European Organization of the Exploitation of Meterological Satellites (EUMETSAT) MetOp satellite in October 2006. All users can fully benefit from these Argos-3 system enhancements when using a Platform Messaging Transceiver (PMT).

See the brochure : Learn more about Argos 3 New Generation

Argos-3 is the new generation of the Argos satellite system. It offers new capabilities including:

  • Two-way communication,
  • Better transmission management
  • Platform remote control and programming.


Why use Argos-3 ?

In order for the Argos-3 system to function, user platforms must be equipped with Argos-3 compatible terminals called Platform Messaging Transceiver (PMT). The innovative PMT is capable of sending and receiving messages to/from satellite, as well as processing commands. Users equipped with a PMT and subscribed to the downlink service will fully benefit from the new communication capabilities made possible with Argos-3. The PMT is fully compatible with all satellites of the Argos constellation and can also be used like an Argos-2 transmitter.

Argos-3 offers capabilities including:

Better transmission management

  • Rendez-vous with satellite
  • Interactive data collection
  • Power saving
  • Less time on surface for Argo floats

Greater volume data

  • 10 times more messages collected
  • High data rate channel

Two-way communication

  • Change mission settings
  • Remote management of sensors
  • Message reception acknowledgement

How it works ?

Transmitters send signals to satellites

Satellites send acknowledgement signals to transmitters

Thanks to new Argos-3 two-way communication, the satellite sends a signal back to the platform when a message has been correctly received. Furthermore, the satellite can send messages from users to any Platform Messaging Terminal (PMT).

Ground antennas relay data from satellites to processing centers

Nearly 60 antennas located at all points of the globe collect data from satellites in real-time and relay the data to the processing centers. This L-band antenna network, a key element of the Argos service, is disseminated all over the globe to obtain worldwide coverage.

Processing centers collect all incoming data, process them and distribute them to users

There are two global Argos processing centers, one located just outside of Toulouse in Southwestern France, and the other near Washington, DC, USA. Once the data arrive at a processing center, locations are automatically calculated, all data are processed, and information is made available to users.

Argos users around the world receive data

Argos users around the world receive data directly in their office or on-site depending on what they choose (email, fax, web, CD-Rom, or directly on mapping software). Once the data are received, they may be shared with the scientific community, governments or institutions that use the data as important management tools.