GPS/Iridium Avian Systems

TGAV-427x-4 GPS/Iridium system

Telonics is pleased to announce an Iridium/GPS tag that can be used to track and obtain biologically significant data from avian species anywhere in the world. This new product line can include any or all of the following options: Mortality, Activity, Temperature, and/or QFP-GPS technologies. QFP is Telonics' new rapid fix GPS technology that obtains the data necessary to calculate a GPS positions in as little as 3-5 seconds. QFP technology has been used in marine applications for many years and is now making its way into terrestrial applications. The technology can be used to increase the number of positions collected or extend the time over which positions are collected by as much as 3-6 times relative to standard GPS positioning. Location accuracy for GPS/QFP is virtually the same as standard GPS.


Operational life estimates for all models shown below are examples calculated by Telonics Product Programmer (TPP) using the following parameters: average environmental temperature of 25°C, expected average time to fix of 75 seconds, successful GPS fix pulse period of 1500 ms, and unsuccessful GPS fix pulse period of 1000 ms. Average time to QFP is 15 seconds. Some VHF duty cycling may be required to achieve the two year operational life estimates. For the TGAV-4720-4, VHF is on 8 hours per week at 40 BPM.

GPS/Iridium systems can be configured to meet most study requirements. Please contact Telonics for details.

Cost estimates assume Iridium data will be delivered to a dedicated email account such as Gmail. Data hosting is also available for an additional $5 a month per transmitter, which eliminates the need for a dedicated email account.

There is also a one time $40.00 activation fee per transmitter.

Configuration Dimensions
L x W x H
(in, cm)
Weight (g) Life Estimates with Daily Iridium Data Uplink
1 Year Life GPS2 Year Life GPS 1 Year Life QFP2 Year Life QFP
Service Fee
Service Fee
Service Fee
Service Fee
TGAV-4270-4 3.15 x 1.32 x 1.36
8.0 x 3.35 x 3.45
137.5 160 min $10.00 430 min $10.00 55 min $31.00 120 min $16.00

* The TGAV-4277-4 has geofencing and auxiliary scheduling capabilities, and the end user can also remotely modify parameters for each of these areas: Temperature, Activity, VHF, GPS and Iridium Schedules depending on the project requirements. The remote modification of parameters requires the purchase of TPP.

Controlling Data Acquisition and Transmission Using Geofencing

A geofence can be described as a virtual boundary around a physical geographical space, defined by a set of coordinates surrounding an area. Geofences may be established and maintained by a range of GPS-enabled devices including smartphones and devices designed for commercial applications like trucking and farming. Geofencing has also proven to be a useful tool for many animal tracking studies.

Although different animal telemetry manufacturers implement geofencing features in different ways, there are basic similarities in that geofencing is a mechanism that allows one or more geographical areas to be defined and provides customized data acquisition and transmission behavior based on whether the study subject is in "inside" or "outside" the geofence(s). A study subject is considered "inside" when inside any defined geofence, and is considered "outside" when outside all defined geofences.

Note that the speed of detecting that an animal has crossed a boundary and is now in or out of a geofenced area will depend on how much time has elapsed between crossing the boundary and acquisition of the next GPS position. Therefore the rate at which fix attempts are scheduled directly influences the time it will take the unit to detect boundary transitions. Also note that since QFP-GPS data do not provide a resolved position until post processing has occurred, acquisition of QFP-GPS data cannot contribute to the detection of boundary transitions.

  • Telonics GPS/Iridium systems can support many geofenced areas, which may overlap. Multiple geofence types are available to establish area(s) of special interest:
    • Rectangle - upper left and lower right coordinates are specified.
    • Circle - center point and radius are specified.
    • Polygon - Up to 50 points may be specified. Polygons may be concave or convex, and may be "closed" (last point and first point are the same), or "open" (first point and last point are not the same).
  • Separate Inside and Outside schedule sets are provided to control:
    • Acquisition for QFP-GPS, GPS, underwater, activity, and temperature data
    • VHF Beacon transmissions
    • Iridium transmission behavior specified by date range: transmission interval, transmission retry delay, and message expiration

Controlling Data Acquisition and Transmission Using Auxiliary Schedule Sets

Iridium SBD (Short Burst Data service) is a two-way messaging system. Information can be recovered from and also sent to an Iridium system deployed in the field. The simplest use of the two-way capability is the acknowledgement of message data received from a system in the field to assure that the deployed system can stop sending old data and proceed to send newer data. In more sophisticated Iridium systems, other messages can be sent to the deployed unit. Telonics GPS/Iridium systems take advantage of the two-way communications to alter the behavior of the system in the field, as specified by the researcher.

Auxiliary schedules are created in TPP. TPP can then send email to Iridium to instruct the deployed unit to switch schedules. The unit will then switch schedule sets the next time it connects to the Iridium network, which typically happens on a daily basis. In addition to the default schedule set, which controls all data acquisition and transmit behaviors. Auxiliary schedule sets are useful for increasing or decreasing the intensity of data collection and/or data transmission. Auxiliary schedule sets are also useful for adjusting the VHF beacon duty cycle to save energy when there are no plans to be out in the field monitoring units with a VHF receiver.

  • Auxiliary schedules provide the capability to control:
    • Acquisition of QFP-GPS, GPS, underwater, activity, and temperature data
    • VHF Beacon transmissions
    • Iridium transmission behavior specified by date range: transmission interval, transmission retry delay, and message expiration
  • GPS/Iridium systems can be directed to execute an Auxiliary schedule (or return to the default schedule) by sending commands over the Iridium data link.
  • Commands to GPS/Iridium systems are sent via email using TPP. Internet connectivity and an email provider are required.
  • After receiving a schedule change command, GPS/Iridium systems will switch to the specified schedule immediately and will continue to execute that schedule until directed to do otherwise.

Specifications: Electronic and Packaging - GPS/Iridium

Notice to United States Users

This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesirable operation.

The user is cautioned that changes or modifications not expressly approved by Telonics could void the user's authority to operate the equipment.

This device contains FCC ID: Q639603N

To satisfy FCC RF Exposure requirements for mobile and base station transmission devices, a separation distance of 20cm or more should be maintained between the antenna of this device and persons during operation. To ensure compliance, operation at closer than this distance is not recommended.

Notice to Canadian Users

Under Industry Canada regulations, this radio transmitter may only operate using the antenna integrated into the device.

This device complies with Industry Canada license-exempt RSS standard(s). Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference, including interference that may cause undesired operation of the device.

This device contains IC ID: 4629A-9603N


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Lithium Battery Shipping Regulations

Telonics, Inc. ships all systems containing lithium batteries in accordance with United Nation and US Federal regulations for shipping hazardous materials.

49 Code of Federal Regulations

IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (current year)

Service Commitment

Since 1970, Telonics has built a reputation based on product quality, product support, service, and customer satisfaction. Telonics strives to produce the highest quality products, and to support those products accordingly.

Because of extreme conditions and the unpredictable nature associated with most telemetry applications, problems occasionally arise. Most problems can be resolved quickly. In all cases, we hope to be able to work in partnership with users to resolve problems to the user's satisfaction and to uphold our demonstrated commitment to excellence. If problems should arise, all products must be returned to our factory for failure analysis.

Warranty: GEN 4 GPS Systems

Telonics warrants its GPS products to be free from defects in material and workmanship for a period of one year from the date acquired. Telonics does not warrant batteries.

Telonics designs and manufactures systems for a variety of applications using several satellite systems (GPS, Argos, Iridium, and Globalstar). At the time of manufacturing, Telonics equipment is tested to verify compatibility with the applicable satellite system(s). Telonics does not warranty equipment against changes in satellite system specifications or satellite operation after the date your equipment was manufactured. Unforeseeable or unplanned system changes would include, but are not limited to, elevated ambient noise levels in the radio frequency bands used for satellite communications, elimination of service in a region of the world, data outages due to technical problems within the satellite system network, or reductions in data transfer capability due to alterations in the constellation as a result of premature space vehicle failures or failure to replace space vehicles in a timely manner.

If a defect occurs, return the equipment to us within the proper time frame at the following address: TELONICS, 932 E. IMPALA AVENUE, MESA AZ USA 85204-6699. The customer shall arrange for and pay all shipping, insurance and related charges incurred in the shipment to and from Telonics under this warranty. Damage to any equipment resulting from misuse, accidents, unauthorized service, extreme conditions, or other causes, is excluded from this warranty. Telonics does not assume responsibility for loss or damage to equipment during shipment. Telonics does not assume responsibility for delays resulting from shipment on commercial or private carriers. We insure all equipment shipped from our facility and suggest that shipments to Telonics also be insured.

Upon the timely return to our facility, if defective, the product will be replaced or repaired at our discretion at no cost to the customer. This remedy is the exclusive remedy. This product is supplied without any further warranties or conditions, expressed or implied, including warranties of merchantability, quality or fitness for particular reason or those arising by laws, statutes or trade usage or course of dealing. The entire risk, as to the results and performance of the product, is assumed by the customer. Neither Telonics, nor its suppliers, shall have any liability to the customer or any other person or entity for any indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damage whatsoever, regardless whether Telonics has been told of the possibility of such damages or that such damages might be foreseeable. Telonics has no responsibility or liability for the claims of any third party. The maximum aggregate to the customer, of Telonics and its suppliers, shall not exceed the amount paid by the customer for the product.