Covering ARGOS Fees through the ATN


A top priority of the ATN is to facilitate and support baseline observations of marine animal movements and behaviors by helping to keep existing efforts going and to add to them as needed and defined through workshops and the ATN Steering Group. The satellite data collection and location service of Argos is an essential element of the U.S. national animal telemetry observations infrastructure. Consequently, providing sustained, robust Argos service to the U.S. marine animal tracking researchers within the ATN will help to insure the stability, continuity and sustainability of the high priority, long-term satellite tagging efforts of the ATN.

A robust implementation arrangement for purchasing and supplying Argos satellite service to federal researchers has been in place for many years between NOAA and the North American Argos service provider, Woods Hole Group, Inc. (formerly CLS America). This mechanism provides a well-established, one-stop, swift and streamlined financial and administrative accounting vehicle for procuring these Argos services.

The U.S. Animal Telemetry Network is implementing a multi-year program funded by the Office of Naval Research which will pay for the cost of Argos satellite tracking services for marine animal telemetry researchers who agree to display their animal tracks in real time on the ATN DAC website as well as submit their data to the ATN DAC. This program will also facilitate and simplify the process of paying these costs by leveraging the existing Argos implementation arrangement established between NOAA, in particular the NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO), and the Woods Hole Group, Inc. (WHG) to pay for the services. Payment of these services will be limited to a maximum $15K per year for each researcher. The requirement for submitting data to the DAC will continue for the duration of the project even after the cap is reached.

Who is Eligible

The criteria below are used to determine telemetry researchers’ eligibility for having their Argos fees paid through this mechanism. To be eligible, the researcher must:

  1. Be actively engaged in marine animal satellite telemetry using Argos.

  2. Agree to submit their R/T tracks for display on the ATN DAC website if possible (requests for delayed display of protected species tracks will be addressed on a case-by-case basis).

  3. Agree to submit their complete raw tag data (location, behavior, environmental, etc.) to the ATN DAC in real-time for the duration of the project even after the $15K cap is reached. This data can be protected from download by others for the period of time specified by the sponsoring agency, otherwise see ATN Implementation Plan, Section 3. ATN Data-Sharing Guidelines for more detail. Implementation Plan is at:

  4. Provide to the ATN your Argos Program Name and Number, the Species being tracked, Researcher name(s) and e-mail address(es), Institution and Location, Tag Manufacturer and Model, and a list of the Argos ID numbers for which funding is requested.

How to Apply

Please download, fill out, and email this pdf to Bill Woodward, ATN Coordinator at