NOAA KLM User's Guide
The Data Collection System (DCS), also known as ARGOS, DCS, collects data from platform transmitters located on continents and oceans in UHF frequency. The ARGOS program is administered under a joint agreement between NOAA and the French space agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). The system consists of in-situ data collection platforms equipped with sensors and transmitters and the ARGOS instrument (DCS) aboard the NOAA KLM and NOAA-N,-N' satellites. The global environmental data sets are collected at telemetry ground stations in Fairbanks, Alaska; and Wallops Island, Virginia; and pre-processed by NOAA/NESDIS in Suitland, Maryland. Two CNES subsidiary companies, Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS) in Toulouse, France and Service ARGOS in Largo, Maryland process the data and deliver it to the end user.
Flying the ARGOS system aboard NOAA polar-orbiting satellites provides worldwide coverage. Additionally, incorporating the ARGOS instrument on a moving satellite allows for locating an in-situ platform using Doppler shift calculations. This positioning capability permits applications such as monitoring drifting ocean buoys and studying wildlife migration paths. ARGOS can track platforms anywhere in the world, supplying positions to users around the globe. Platforms can be attached to practically any type of physical object, for example: an ocean buoy, a stream gauge, a bear, a bird, or a fishing vessel.
ARGOS platforms are located by using the Doppler Effect, which gives an accuracy of up to 150 meters. Doppler locations are good for compact, low-power transmitters and in difficult radio environments. The satellites receive the signals sent even in extreme conditions such as a platform transmitting from a dense rainforest or from transmitters on the polar ice caps.
The ARGOS system is comprised of:
A set of user platforms, fixed or mobile, deployed at sea, on land or in the air and transmitting independently. The platform is the carrier complete with its sensors and ARGOS Platform Transmitter Terminal (PTT) or Platform Messaging Transceiver (PMT),
• A desired complement of two operational NOAA spacecraft and two in backup in simultaneous orbit, with instrument packages that receive PTT/PMT messages on a random access basis, then separate, time-code, format and retransmit the data to ground stations,
• The ground stations and two Global Processing Centers (GPCs) in Toulouse, France and Landover, Maryland, where data are retrieved, processed, and distributed to users. Each center can take on the full operational workload if the other fails. CLS also operates Master Beacons in Fairbanks (Alaska), Svalbard (Norway), and Toulouse (France) to provide two way messaging from the A-DCS instrument.
Section 3.6.1 describes the DCS/2 instrument flown onboard the NOAA KLM and NOAA-N satellites and Section 3.6.2 provides details on the Advanced Data Collection System (A-DCS) instrument which will be flown on the NOAA-N' spacecraft.
Amended July 14, 2004
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