Why choose Argos?

Worldwide tracking and environmental monitoring by satellite

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


Argos is a pioneer satellite-based system which has been operating since 1978. The Argos system collects data from Platform Terminal Transmitters, PTTs, and distributes sensor and location data to the final users.

Argos helps the scientific community to better monitor and understand our environment, but also enables industry to comply with environmental protection regulations implemented by various governments.

To meet system use requirements, all programs using Argos have to be related in some way or other to environmental protection, awareness or study, or to protecting human life. Applications for which there is a clear governmental interest are also approved.

An international collaboration



It was established under an agreement between:

  • French Space Agency (CNES)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, USA)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA , USA)

Today, CLS, a CNES subsidiary, is the exclusive provider of Argos satellite telemetry services worldwide for scientific and environmental applications.

International space agencies

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.

Read more about Argos history


System advantages

map of Argos antennas on Earth

The main advantages of the Argos system are:

Global coverage

Flying the Argos system aboard polar-orbiting satellites provides worldwide coverage.

Security solutions

Robust security solutions protect information systems and large volumes of data.

Doppler location capability

Argos processing centers use the Doppler effect to locate transmitters. The advantages of Doppler location are low transmitter power consumption and instant location opportunities during satellite passes (which is useful for tracking marine animals for example).

Optional GPS positioning

Argos PTTs can be equipped with GPS receivers and send GPS positions via Argos system. The processing system makes the GPS positions available in the same format as regular Doppler-derived locations. Users can choose whichever form of location best suits their needs.

Miniaturization and low power consumption

Thanks to the high sensitivity of satellite receivers, Argos transmitters can be miniaturized and achieve good results using very low power, making it an efficient system for long-distance tracking.

Two-way communication

Argos-3 satellites send 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).

Discover how Argos system works

A robust system

map of Argos beacons emissions

The Argos system consists of:

  • A constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO), polar-orbiting satellites
  • A global network of terrestrial receiving stations
  • Two data processing centers for continuous, round-the-clock operations

The Argos system allows any mobile object equipped with a compatible transmitter:

  • To be located by Doppler locations across the world,
  • To send data from measurement sensors connected to the transmitter.

The Argos system is the worldwide reference for both location and data collection. It is a very simple and robust system.


A robust system supported by an international company

Subsidiary of CNES, CLS is the exclusive provider of Argos satellite services for environmental and scientific applications:

  • Robust security solutions to protect data and IT infrastructures
  • Low power transmission power for optimized consumption
  • Miniaturized transmitters (less than 5 grams)
  • GPS-free positionning
  • Data processing certified by quality controls
  • Data archiving and several options for data distribution
  • World-renowned customer services

Discover how Argos system works

GPS positions via Argos

Schema of reception of Argos beacon emissions by satellites around the Earth

Why GPS and ARGOS are different ? There are two ways to locate or track your transmitter:

  1. Argos location : the Argos centers calculate your transmitter locations by measuring theDoppler shift on its transmit frequency. Argos is known as the best Doppler-locating satellite system. Doppler positions can not be falsified.
  2. GPS positioning : if a GPS receiver is interfaced or built into your Argos transmitter, a dedicated processing module at the Argos centers can extract the GPS positions from your Argos messages, validate them, and output them as regular Argos positions.

The coordinates in both cases are in latitude and longitude, in thousandths of degrees.

The advantages of sending GPS positions via the Argos system :

  • Having two location systems is more reliable than just one
  • Cross-check GPS consistency with non falsified Doppler positions
  • GPS positions can be generated as often as wanted
  • Accuracy is higher (within 100 meters) and does not depend on the transmitter quality
  • GPS positions are made available in the same format as Argos locations and via the same interface.

More information about how Argos works