PSATs combine two types of technology to avoid the problem of tag recovery. The basic tag collects the same data as a normal Archival Tag , recording measurements such as temperature, salinity, depth, and light-based location, but it also has the ability to transmit its recorded information up to an orbiting satellite that relays the information to researchers. At a preset time, a battery is turned on that activates the transmission of the signal to a satellite. This battery activation first dissolves the tag attachment, allowing the tag to float to the surface where it sends its broadcast of data and can be possibly recovered. As a result, while being more expensive than other tags, PSATs are effective for studying the movements of large pelagic animals that are not often recaptured.
A Pop-Up Satellite Archival Tag. (Tagging of Pacific Pelagics - TOPP)
A photograph of a Pop-Up Satellite Archival Tag attached near the dorsal fin of a large tuna. (Tagging of Pacific Pelagics - TOPP)