Communication Options

Communication Options

All GPS, activity, temperature, proximity and external sensor data measured by the collar are stored in the non-volatile on-board memory until you actively delete it. Even if the battery runs out, your data are preserved.
If you don’t want to wait until you get your collar back or if you want to communicate with it while it is on the animal, you can choose from several wireless communication interfaces depending on the structure of your study area, your field work and your budget.

UHF bi-directional communication

The UHF Radio Link establishes contact with your collar every time you are in range of the collared animal. Communication to the collar is established with the UHF Handheld Terminal (see picture on the right). It is a powerful tool to communicate with your VERTEX Plus collar at any time of your choice. The Handheld Terminal enables you to

  • download GPS, (GPS PLUS) activity, temperature, mortality and proximity data on demand,
  • download status information (e.g. battery voltage) from the collar,
  • upload new GPS, VHF beacon, and proximity schedules, as well as new Virtual Fence Collections,
  • and it also offers an integrated GPS receiver and electronic compass.

The communication range depends on humidity, surrounding vegetation, height above the ground of both transmitter and receiving system, topography and some more factors. Under normal conditions, the range is several kilometers with a small handheld yagi antenna.

UHF Handheld Terminal
UHF Handheld Terminal

GSM bi-directional communication

The GSM communication offers the possibility to track an animal in nearly real-time by transmitting the animal’s position and status directly to your office or home using the SMS service of mobile phone providers (free choice of provider). GPS, mortality and proximity data will be sent automatically via SMS to a specified phone number. You decide if every position is transmitted or if you simply want an update after a certain number of GPS fixes. On the same way, you can send new GPS, VHF beacon or proximity schedules as well as Virtual Fence Collections to the collar which are received when the collar sends positions.

GSM-2 ground station
GSM-2 ground station
Received SMS will be stored in files that can be automatically merged with the GPS PLUS X Collar Manager software to obtain a single file with all data from one collar. Additionally, all data measured by the collar stay in the non-volatile on-board-memory. Data not received by GSM can be downloaded via UHF/VHF (if available) radio link or after the collar has been retrieved via the Link Manager cable interface. These files are 100% compatible with your SMS files, so you have the flexibility to combine all three data interfaces.SMS are sent via GSM quad-band technology (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) to a GSM ground station and distributed to the assigned scientists. VECTRONIC Aerospace offers the service to receive the SMS with our ground station and automatically send the data to you (free of charge) via email. Additionally, data can be uploaded to and viewed online on Google Maps or Google Earth (password-protected, one-time set-up fee). Alternatively, you can set up your own ground station, which can easily run using the GPS PLUS X Collar Manager software.

Schematic GSM communication
Schematic GSM communication

Satellite communciation

The VERTEX Plus collars can be equipped with satellite communication modules. You can choose between two systems:

The GLOBALSTAR SIMPLEX service is a one-way communication system using a satellite network of 48 satellites with broad time and space coverage. The GPS data are repeatedly sent to the satellites, but no confirmation is sent back. The Globalstar antenna is integrated into the electronic housing to prevent breakage or impediments to the animals. There are areas not covered by Globalstar yet, so please check the availability in your study area (see figure on the right).

Globalstar coverage map May 2015
Globalstar coverage map May 2015
IRIDIUM offers two-way communication with a satellite network of 66 satellites with global coverage 24 hours per day (see figure on the right). This way, you cannot only download GPS, mortality and proximity data, but also upload GPS, VHF beacon and proximity schedules as well as Virtual Fence collections.
Due to the two-way communication, the collar knows which data have been received by the satellite and which data need to be resend again. The Iridium antenna is integrated into the electronic housing.

Iridium worldwide satellite coverage
Iridium worldwide satellite coverage
With Globalstar and Iridium communication, you will receive the data via email within five minutes after the satellite has received the message from the collar. In addition, there is the option to view the position on our website as Google Map or Google Earth application.
Radio CommunicationSatellite Communication
Data download from collar to researcher
GPS Data
Activity data---
Temperatur datapart of GPS data filepart of GPS data filepart of GPS data file
Mortality events
Proximity data-
Data upload from researcher to collar
GPS schedules-
VHF Beacon schedules-
Proximity schedule-
Virtual Fence Collection-