MiniPAT Pop-up Archival Transmitting Tag
Like our original Pop-up Archival Transmitting (PAT-Mk10) tag, the MiniPAT is a sophisticated combination of archival and Argos satellite technology. It is designed to track the large-scale movements and behavior of fish and other animals which do not spend enough time at the surface to allow the use of real-time Argos satellite tags.
The MiniPAT incorporates our newest Cricket transmitter and controller on a single board. A bouyant body and corrodible pin allows the release of the MiniPAT from the fish so data can be transmitted.
The direct U.S. price is $3950.
Data types available
Several types of data are available from MiniPAT tags. These data will facilitate large-scale tracking, short-term mortality studies, and oceanographic details and behavior data, especially important for fisheries management.
Available data include:
- Permanent archive of fine-scale Time-Series data
- Vertical depth movement
- Environmental temperature
- Horizontal movement
- Large-scale movement via light-based geolocation
- Detailed habitat and behavior information transmitted at release
- Compressed Time-Series data
- Behavior Summaries (Time-at-Temperature, Time-at-Depth, Time in Mixed Layer)
- Environmental Data (Depth-Temperature Profiles, SST, Light Level)
Fisheries-independent tracking, archival data
Because the MiniPAT can yield data without the animal being recaptured, it offers a fisheries-independent means of tracking a target species. In addition, a full archival record is maintained in non-volatile memory. Thus, should the MiniPAT be recovered, you have the same detailed data that are collected by a conventional archival tag. A surprising number of pop-up tags have been recovered by beachcombers and fisheries, giving the researcher a complete record of the animal’s behavior.
MiniPATs are best-suited for pelagic animals. The tags have been deployed on a variety of species, including large tuna, sharks, and swordfish. The MiniPAT tag is attached to the animal via a tether. Generally, the researcher determines the best tether design and attachment method.
How the MiniPAT works
The MiniPAT archives depth, temperature, and light-level data while being towed by the animal. At a user-specified date and time, the MiniPAT actively corrodes the pin to which the tether is attached, thus releasing the MiniPAT from the animal. The MiniPAT then floats to the surface and transmits summarized information via the Argos system. Argos also uses the transmitted messages to provide the position of the tag at the time of release. The transmitted data are sent to the researcher by Service Argos. The data can be analyzed further by the researcher using Wildlife Computers PC-based WC-DAP software. The results provide the migration path taken by the study animal, depth and temperature preferences of the study animal, as well as oceanographic data in the form of depth-temperature profiles.
All aspects of the MiniPAT's data collection and transmission are user-programmable. This simplifies the logistics of your experiment design; you do not need to pre-specify these parameters before ordering the tag.
Insurance against being crushed at depth
Wildlife Computers has developed a mechanical release, called the RD1800, that prevents the MiniPAT from being dragged to depths that would crush it. This releases the MiniPAT so that it floats to the surface. The Premature Release feature will recognize a “constant depth” situation and initiates transmission. Thus the MiniPAT will transmit even in the event of attachment failures, animal mortality or unexpected animal behavior.
Size, weight, and pressure resistance
Electronic components are fully cast in a tube. Overall length of the MiniPAT tag, not including the antenna, is 115mm. The added float measures approximately 40mm in diameter at its widest point. Total weight is 53g in air. The cast tube and float are tested and confirmed to withstand 2000m of pressure.
12-bit analog-to-digital converters provide high-accuracy depth and temperature readings. A 10-bit analog-to-digital converter is used for light-level and battery voltage readings, as well as other housekeeping chores. Depth and temperature sensors are calibrated to provide an accuracy of 1% of the measurement. Depth and light level are temperature-compensated to provide consistent readings through temperature variations.
- Depth is measured from 0 to 1000m with a resolution of 0.5m.
- Temperature is measured from -40°C to +60°C with a resolution of 0.05°C.
- Light level is measured as irradiance at a wavelength of 550nm. The sensor measures from 5 x 10-12 W.cm-2 to 5 x 10-2 W.cm-2 in logarithmic units. Dawn and dusk events can be discriminated at depths up to 300m in clear water conditions.