Flyingover

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Technology

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Each stork is equipped with two transmitters - satelite and terrestrial. It is attached to the stork with special straps as a "backpack". The total weight of the whole set-up is approximately 60 grams. This is approximately 2% of the black stork's actual body weight. 

Satellite transmitter (PTT - Platform Transmitter Terminal) is supplied either by a battery or an accumulator recharged by a solar panel. For the limited supply of energy to be used most efficiently the transmitters do not work permanently according to a pre-assigned programme, for example the transmitter is active for 10 hours and for the next 24 hours it is switched off.

Signals of transmitters are intercepted by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) satellites from the polar orbit and sent to the headquarters of American-French company CLS Argos. There, on the basis of Doppler's effect a complicated calculations of transmitter's land coordinates are conducted. We can request the results for example on the Internet.

The acquired coordinates contain different types of errors. Coordinates from the three highest categories of quality (in total there are seven of them) should not have a permissible error of more than 1,000 meters, on the other hand coordinates from the lowest category could differ from reality by tens of kilometers. Therefore it is necessary to approach data evaluation cautiously. Together with the coordinates transmitter's sensors information are available, from them the most important are data on temperature and movement.

Terrestrial transmitters which are attached to the satellite transmitters have a range of a couple of kilometers and broadcast a signal permanently. It is possible to locate the stork or perhaps only the transmitter itself using a simple antenna in the field.


 
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