The ARGOS system, established in 1978 by the French Space Agency (CNES), NASA, and NOAA, was initially designed as a scientific tool for collecting and relaying meteorological and oceanographic data around the world. Today, ARGOS is transforming satellite communication by adding a constellation of 25 nanosatellites to complement the 7 traditional satellites carrying ARGOS instrumentation. This development ensures a maximum of 10-15 minutes between satellite passes once the constellation is complete.
The ARGOS Satellite Transceiver Shield is equipped with the ARTIC R2 chipset and has been tested and certified by Kinéis for ARGOS 2, 3, and 4 communication. Compared to other satellite communication systems, this shield consumes less power and works with a simple, lightweight quarter-wave wire antenna. The chipset operates from 3.3V, and the on-board flash memory enables fast boot times. To conserve battery life, the shield also allows for reduced power transmission through the opto-isolated gain pin. It is designed to be used with SparkFun Thing Plus - Artemis and is compatible with a wide range of microcontrollers through a 3.3V SPI interface.
The Arduino Library provided by SparkFun simplifies the process of getting started with ARGOS. It includes a full set of examples that allow you to configure the ARTIC R2 chipset, predict the next satellite pass, receive allcast and individually-coded messages, and transmit messages using ARGOS 2, 3, and 4 encoding.
The ARGOS Satellite Transceiver Shield is lightweight, weighing only 3g, and has an RFPA0133 Power Amplifier that boosts the 0dBm (1mW) output from the ARTIC by up to 26dB. The shield also features a 26MHz temperature-compensated crystal oscillator for maximum stability and SST25VF020B Flash memory for fast boot times. The power requirements for the shield are typically 5VDC for VUSB and 3.6 - 4.2VDC for VBATT.
However, please note that the ARGOS satellite system is currently restricted to specific programs and applications. It is advisable to ensure that your project meets these requirements before purchasing the hardware. CLS (France) and the Woods Hole Group (America) can provide guidance on whether your project meets the necessary requirements.
The ARTIC R2 circuit is a remix of the reference design kindly provided by the Arribada Initiative and Icoteq Ltd. The SparkX products are rapidly produced to bring you the most cutting-edge technology as it becomes available. These products are tested but come with no guarantees. For support or to ask a question, please visit the SparkX forum.
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