Satellites

From: Kim Marshall-Tilas (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Date: Wed Dec 20 2000 - 13:07:59 EST


Question:
>are SATELLITE POSITIONS ALWAys accurate? why or why not? What precautions
>must you take as a researcher to insure accuracy?

Reply:
 From what I understand satellite positions are generally very
accurate assuming that the transmitting and receiving equipment is in
good working order ie: GPS's can sometimes be off a couple of degrees
for a variety of reasons like low batteries. I am not very
knowledgeable about satellites but I believe that margins of error of
calculated into data analyses. There are also other problems that
occur with satellite tracking of whales. For instance when a whale
dives the tracking devices are unreadable, then if the device comes
off the whale it can still send readings but of course they will be
inaccurate in regards to where the whale is.

Please refer to WhaleNet's pages on actual tracking of whales to gain
more information on the accuracy of this research methodology.
Thank you!
Kim

-- 
Kim Marshall-Tilas
Senior Director
Ocean Alliance/Whale Conservation Institute
191 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA  01773
781.259.0423 or fax 259.0288
www.oceanalliance.org



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