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ARGOS Data Collection and Location System (ARGOS)

NSSDCA ID: 1993-050A-03

Mission Name: NOAA 13
Principal Investigator:


The ARGOS Data Collection and Location System (DCS) on NOAA-I was designed to obtain low-duty-cycle transmissions of meteorological observations from free-floating balloons, ocean buoys, other satellites, and fixed ground-based sensor platforms distributed around the globe. These observations were organized on-board the spacecraft and retransmitted when the spacecraft came within range of a command and data acquisition (CDA) station. For free-moving balloons, the Doppler frequency shift of the transmitted signal was observed to calculate the location of the balloons. The DCS consisted of three components: terrestrial platforms, on-board instruments, and the processing center. On-board receivers obtain transmitted signals at 401.65 MHz. Four processing channels, Data Recovery Units (DRU), operated in parallel. Each DRU consisted of a phase lock loop, bit synchronizer, doppler counter, and a data formatter. After measurement of the doppler frequency, sensor data were formatted with other instrument data, and the output data transferred to a buffer interface with the spacecraft data processor. Data from the DCS was included with the low bit rate instruments on NOAA-I. Data was processed at the ARGOS Data Processing Center in France. The DCS was expected to have a location accuracy of 5 to 8 km rms, and a velocity accuracy of 1 to 1.6 m/s. This system had the capability of acquiring data from up to 2000 platforms per day.

Alternate Names

  • Data Collection System (DCS)

Funding Agency

  • Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)


  • Engineering: None assigned
  • Earth Science: None assigned

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Principal InvestigatorCentre National d'Etudes Spatiales
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