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Improving Argos Doppler location using multiple-model smoothing

Abstract : Background: Argos is a dedicated system for geo-localization and data collection of platform terminal transmitters (PTTs). The system exploits a constellation of polar-orbiting satellites recording the messages transmitted by the PTTs. The localization processing takes advantage of the Doppler effect on the carrier frequency of messages received by the satellites to estimate platform locations. It was recently demonstrated that the use of an Interacting Multiple Model (IMM) filter significantly increases the Argos location accuracy compared to the simple Least Square adjustment technique that had been used from the beginning of the Argos localization service in 1978. The accuracy gain is especially large in cases when the localization is performed from a small number of messages (n ≤ 3). The present paper shows how it is possible to further improve the Argos location accuracy if a processing delay is accepted. The improvement is obtained using a fixed-interval multiple-model smoothing technique. Results: The location accuracy of the smoother is evaluated with a data set including over 200 platforms equipped with an Argos transmitter and a GPS receiver, providing the ground truth. The use of the smoother reduces the plat-forms' location error. On average, compared with the IMM filter, the smoother achieves an error reduction of about one-third for locations based on two or three messages. For one-message locations, the error is typically divided by two. Conclusion: The smoother proves to reduce the platforms' location error compared to the IMM filter. The error reduction is all the more significant as the number of messages involved in the location is small. This new processing technique targets Argos applications with a limited emitting power or operating in difficult environmental conditions, such as wildlife tracking, for which obtaining more accurate locations is more important than obtaining locations in real-time.
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https://hal.laas.fr/hal-01969299
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Rémy Lopez, Jean-Pierre Malardé, Patrick Danès, Philippe Gaspar. Improving Argos Doppler location using multiple-model smoothing. Animal Biotelemetry, BioMed Central, 2015, 3 (1), pp.article ID:32. ⟨10.1186/s40317-015-0073-4⟩. ⟨hal-01969299⟩

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