The accuracy of Fastloc-GPS locations and implications for animal tracking

Dujon,AM, Lindstrom,RT and Hays,GC 2014, The accuracy of Fastloc-GPS locations and implications for animal tracking, Methods in ecology and evolution, vol. 5, no. 11, pp. 1162-1169, doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12286.

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Title The accuracy of Fastloc-GPS locations and implications for animal tracking
Author(s) Dujon,AM
Hays,GCORCID iD for Hays,GC
Journal name Methods in ecology and evolution
Volume number 5
Issue number 11
Start page 1162
End page 1169
Total pages 8
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2014-11
ISSN 2041-210X
Keyword(s) Animal tags
Positioning error
Satellite telemetry
Sensitivity analysis
Summary Over recent years, a major breakthrough in marine animal tracking has occurred with the advent of Fastloc-GPS that provides highly accurate location data even for animals that only surface briefly such as sea turtles, marine mammals and penguins. We assessed the accuracy of Fastloc-GPS locations using fixed trials of tags in which >45 000 locations were obtained. Procedures for determining the speed of travel and heading were developed by simulating tracks and then adding Fastloc-GPS location errors. The levels of detail achievable for speed and heading estimates were illustrated by using empirical Fastloc-GPS data for a green turtle (Chelonia mydas, Linnaeus, 1758) travelling over 3000 km across the Indian Ocean. The accuracy of Fastloc-GPS locations varied as a function of the number of GPS satellites used in the location calculation. For example, when Fastloc-GPS locations were calculated using 4 GPS satellites, 50% of locations were within 36 m and 95% within 724 m of the true position. These values improved to 18 and 70 m, respectively, when 6 satellites were used. Simulations indicated that for animals travelling around 2·5 km h-1 (e.g. turtles, penguins and seals) and depending on the number of satellites used in the location calculation, robust speed and heading estimates would usually be obtained for locations only 1-6 h apart. Fastloc-GPS accuracy is several orders of magnitude better that conventional Argos tracking or light-based geolocation and consequently will allow new insights into small-scale movement patterns of marine animals.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/2041-210X.12286
Field of Research 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Wiley
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