PTT-100 50 gram Solar PTT

In the mid 1990's when word got out that biologists could successfully track migrating birds through Argos, requests poured in. Could we make the PTTs smaller? Could we extend their operational lifetime?

The answer was to equip the PTT with solar rechargeable batteries, to take advantage of the abundant supply of solar energy to charge the internal batteries. The microprocessor controlled duty cycle timer regulates the battery charge control, and commands the PTT to transmit during the ON time of its duty cycle, depending on the state of the battery charge. Four hours of outdoor exposure to direct sunlight is enough to power the PTT for 24 hours.

Like the Lithium battery powered PTT-100, the solar powered PTT is  equipped with temperature, battery voltage and activity sensors. The 50g solar PTT is packaged in a robust housing with sturdy antenna. This PTT has been used to track birds such as Bald and Golden Eagles. Based on battery manufacturer's data, the solar powered PTT can be expected to last for up to three years, if the unit is undamaged by the bird and the solar array remains exposed to the sun. One researcher has reported a lifetime of over five years for an early version of these PTTs!

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White Stork, Photo by Stepan Kotrba, Czech Radio

Solar PTT

5 gram PTT-100

9.5 gram PTT-100

12 gram PTT-100

18 gram PTT-100

35 gram PTT-100