ARGOS (ARTIC R2) Satellite Communication Guide

Contributors: PaulZC
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Looking for a satellite communication board for your next project? We've got three to pick from!

SparkFun IOTA - Satellite Communication Module (ARTIC R2)


smôl ARTIC R2

ARGOS Satellite Transceiver Shield - ARTIC R2

ARGOS Satellite Transceiver Shield - ARTIC R2


The ARGOS Satellite Transceiver Shield - ARTIC R2, is the biggest of the three and the easiest to get your fingers around. It has the same footprint as our Feather-compatible Thing Plus boards and is designed to stack directly on top of a Thing Plus for easy development. If you are looking for a board to allow you to get to know how ARGOS satellite communication works, or are just starting out on your product development, or want a board you can plug into breadboard, or are not worried about making your tracking system as compact as possible, then this is the board for you.

IOTA - the Integrated Open source Transceiver for ARGOS - is ideal if you are ready to incorporate an ARGOS transceiver into your design. Its castellated pads can be reflowed or hand-soldered as required. It also has slots for an RF screening can, should your certification process require one. The antenna connection is available on both a castellated pad and a u.FL connector. You will find an Eagle symbol and footprint for IOTA in the SparkFun Eagle Libraries RF Library.

The smôl ARTIC R2 is the baby of the three, but it still packs the same punch as its larger siblings. If you are developing a compact dart for whale tracking, or a small backpack for avian tracking, or a very discrete satellite tracker, then the smôl ARTIC R2 is the one for you.

Pictured are the three Spark Fun satellite boards
Having a hard time seeing? Click the image for a closer look.

Pictured are the dimensions of the three Spark Fun satellite boards

All three boards use the same ARTIC R2 satellite transceiver chip. All three have the same power amplifier, with the same maximum output power and adjustable gain. All three have the same receive sensitivity. All three have on-board flash memory containing the ARTIC R2 firmware and Platform ID. All three are supported by our comprehensive Arduino Library which includes a full set of tried-and-tested examples.

This guide provides background information about the ARGOS satellite system and the ARTIC R2 satellite transceiver chipset. If you are looking for specific information about our three boards, you can open their individual hookup guides by clicking on the buttons below: