Beegle offers a wide range of innovative tracking solutions for birds and animals. By making use of the Iridium satellite constellation for communication, no terrestrial infrastructure is needed (base stations, repeaters, etc.). The position data from the animal is transmitted directly to satellites and made available on a web-based tracking portal which can be viewed at any time, from anywhere. This significantly reduces the costs, administration and environmental impact of tracking compared to traditional VHF methods where vehicles, large antennas, personnel and time are needed.

Animal Trackers

The Beegle Solar-Flight Collar for Cheetah is a ~250g solar powered pure-satellite based tracker collar that does not rely on any ground infrastructure to operate. This allows you to keep track of the animals from the comfort of your office.

Bird Trackers

The Beegle Solar-Flight for Birds is a sub 55g solar powered pure-satellite based tracker that is mounted on the bird’s back, and does not rely on any ground infrastructure to operate.

Ostrich Trackers

The Beegle Solar-Flight for Ostrich is a sub 55g solar powered pure-satellite based tracker that is mounted on the Ostrich’s neck, just like a ID tag, and does not rely on any ground infrastructure to operate. It has true global coverage and will therefore always be able to transmit its position.

Crocodile Trackers

The Beegle Solar-Flight Crocodile Tracker is a small solar powered tracking device that is attached to crocodiles and other similar sized reptiles. It includes a water depth sensor and reports depth and time underwater statistics, along with GPS track when above the water.

 

Animal Tracker Product Information

Beegle Solar-Flight devices are pure-satellite based trackers for birds and various types of animals, requiring no ground infrastructure (like GSM towers, radio networks, etc) to operate and maintain. The primary components include a GPS receiver for position acquisition and a satellite modem to transmit position data. These trackers use the Iridium Satellite network, which consists of Low Earth Orbiting satellites, resulting in at least one satellite in view between horizons  at all times. This high-availability network is well suited to tracking when reliability is important. The orbiting nature of satellites improves the probability of successful transmissions in terrain with steep cliffs or in valleys where geostationary satellites cannot be relied upon. Other features that make Beegle trackers well suited to animal tracking include:

  • Smallest and lightest satellite trackers on the market, brining a new level of animal welfare to the industry.
  • Solar powered means they will operate for multiple years.
  • Up to 144 positions per day (every 10 minutes). Default is 24 per day with a 3+ year lifespan.
  • Built-in backup battery powers tracker during the night or overcast days.
  • Intelligent power management ensures GPS positions are acquired even during low-battery situations (eg birds nesting below the canopy).
  • Two-way communication allows interval regimes to be updated over-the-air.
  • Full end-to-end ownership by us (excluding Iridium), no reliance on any 3rd party software.
  • Integrated with MoveBank. Other tracking portals can be easily integrated with.

Data Plans

A data plan is required to operate these trackers. There are 3 data plans available. Data Plan A allows for up to 8 transmissions per day (without optional data) while Data Plan B allows for up to 32 transmissions per day (without optional data). Data Plan C allows up to 170 messages per day.

Data Transmitted

This describes the contents of the data transmitted. GPS fixes are taken at configured intervals (which can be updated over-the-air). These data points are stored internally to the device and then sent at configured intervals (which can be different to the GPS fix intervals, and is also configurable over-the-air). Satellite transmissions are generally energy hungry and depending on the climate and animal type, the exposure to the sun might necessitate fewer satellite transmissions than GPS fixes which are not as energy demanding. All unsent (stored) GPS fixes are sent at the next satellite transmission, so no data is ever lost.

  • Timestamped GPS position
  • Battery voltage
  • Device temperature
Optional Data

Certain applications might need additional data transmitted that is obtained at the time of the GPS fix. With each additional data object, the maximum number of transmissions per day decreases due to the higher data usage. The optional data items are as follows (note that some metrics may require one of our sensor modules):

  • GPS Altitude (15m resolution) – 1 byte
  • GPS Altitude (1m resolution) – 2 bytes
  • GPS Speed – 1 byte
  • GPS course over ground – 1 byte
    The following metrics require 1 extra byte (in total) over and above the metrics data
  • Activity count – 1 byte
  • Time underwater – 1 byte
  • Pressure in millibar (i.e. water depth) – 2 bytes
 
 
0 (Min. Data)
+1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
+7
+8
+9
Plan A
8
7
6
6
6
 5
 5
4
4
 4
Plan B
32
29
27
25
24
 21
 20
 19
 18
 17
Plan C
74
69
64
60
56
53
50
48
46
43

For higher data rate requirements, over-usage rates apply. Depending on plan and configuration, cost range from to $0.04 to $0.11 per position.

Competitor Analysis

There are several competitors on the market, many of which use terrestrial networks such as GSM (cellphone) radio networks. VHF collars were also considered but due to the fact that they can only be tracked when in relative close proximity, and with very limited tracking information, they have been excluded from this analysis. Devices using terrestrial infrastructure have also been omitted due to the complexity and expense of setting up and maintaining radio networks. The advantage with such systems is that the perceived cost is lower than pure-satellite units, however, over time the true cost of running such networks is far more costly and far less reliable than pure-satellite devices. Often animals roam outside of the range of such infrastructure, sometimes being unfeasible to set up further infrastructure. Maintenance complexities also need to be considered, especially in remote areas or areas of conflict where it may be infeasible or impossible to expand the network.. Often the cost of maintaining networks becomes a major weak link in a terrestrial tracking system, and many times animals are lost, which carries a huge wasted cost.

The advantages of pure-satellite trackers are manyfold. They are simply attached to the animal and no further administration is required, regardless of where the animal moves. Devices appear on the chosen tracking portal and can be monitored from anywhere with an internet connection.

  Weight(g) Lifespan (years) @24ppd Solar Powered Min Interval (min) Cost
Beegle 250 3+ 10 $
Competitor A 250 <1 80 $$$
Competitor B 825 <1 60 $$
Competitor C 360 <1 60 $$$
Competitor D >800 <1 60 $$

ppd = Positions Per Day