Covering ARGOS Fees through the ATN


A top priority of the U.S. Animal Telemetry Network (ATN) is to facilitate and support baseline observations of marine animal movements. The satellite data collection and location services of Argos is an essential element of the U.S. national animal telemetry observations infrastructure. Consequently, providing sustained, robust Argos service to U.S. marine animal tracking researchers will help to insure the stability, continuity, and sustainability of high priority, long-term satellite tagging efforts.

Therefore, ATN has implemented 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 submit their data and metadata to ATN’s Data Assembly Center (DAC). The DAC, supported by Axiom Data Science, provides a secure data access and analysis space for researchers, while offering public visualizations of tracks and data archiving following user-specified embargo periods. More information about ATN’s data policy and embargo guidance are available here.

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. Be a U.S. based or affiliated researcher.

  3. Complete an application form and provide ATN with your Argos program information and a list of the Argos ID numbers for which funding is requested.

  4. Agree to submit tag data and metadata to the ATN DAC for the duration of the project. Data which are capable of being auto-ingested into the DAC and in near real-time, are encouraged to be made available to the DAC in near real-time.

  5. Agree to visualize their trajectory and/or profile data, along with select metadata in the ATN data portal, in near real-time, if possible. Requests for delayed display of protected species tracks can be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

  6. Agree to publicly release these data via the ATN data portal and a long-term repository or permanent archive after data are no longer protected or under embargo as specified within the ATN’s data management policy guidance document.

Coverage Policies

  1. Argos Fees Program applications will be limited to 50 platforms per program per year. This change will be effective April 1, 2023 for new program applicants. For existing program members, the 50 platform cap will become effective on October 1, 2023. After that date, additional platform IDs above the cap will revert back to the principal investigators original Argos program.

  2. We request that only platforms intended to be deployed within 6 months be registered under new or existing ATN programs.

  3. We encourage principal investigators to recycle or remove inactive or unused platform IDs from their ATN program within 6 months of inactivity.

  4. Argos fees will be covered annually by ATN to the extent that funds are available. In the event that Argos Fees Program funds are exhausted, additional platform costs will revert back to the principal investigator.

Failure to comply with the above list of eligibility requirements and policies may result in researcher, program, or platform removal from the Argos Fees Program and costs to revert back to the principal investigator.

How to Apply

Please download, fill out, and email the application form to the ATN Coordinator at, and the ATN Data Coordinator, Dr. Megan McKinzie at