SparkFun has launched a new communications board, the Integrated Open-Source Transceiver for ARGOS (IOTA), which is designed to connect suitable projects to the world via satellite using AnSem's ARTIC R2 chip.
"Is your project linked to environmental protection, awareness or study, or to protecting human life? Perhaps you are developing a wildlife tracker, ocean buoy, environmental monitoring system or need to transfer emergency medical information? Do you need to be able to transmit and receive data anywhere? If so, this is the product for you," says SparkFun of its design. "IOTA (Integrated Open-Source Transceiver for ARGOS) allows you to send and receive short bursts of data via the ARGOS satellite network, anywhere on Earth including the Polar regions."
There's a reason SparkFun talks about the possible projects to which IOTA is suited, however: Communication via the ARGOS satellite constellation, made up of traditional satellites and a planned 25 nanosatellites, is restricted to specific programs and applications.ated gain pin, and communication takes place over SPI — complete with an Arduino library offering message reception, transmission, satellite pass prediction, and chipset configuration.
There's a reason SparkFun talks about the possible projects to which IOTA is suited, however: Communication via the ARGOS satellite constellation, made up of seven traditional satellites and a planned 25 nanosatellites, is restricted to specific programs and applications.
"All programs using ARGOS have to be related in some way or other to environmental protection, awareness or study, or to protecting human life," the Woods Hole Group explains. "Applications for which there is a clear governmental interest are also approved."
For those confident in the suitability of their planned application, the IOTA board is available from SparkFun's web shop at $199.95 — but as a SparkX product may not enter full production status, meaning supplies could run dry at any time. If they do, the design files are available on GitHub under a Creative Commons ShareAlike 4.0 International license.