Open Protocols for Acoustic Telemetry

28. November 2019

Earlier this year, at the International Conference on Fish Telemetry, a set of open, acoustic transmit protocols were officially announced and handed over to the research community. As an answer to the request of the European Tracking Network, Thelma Biotel together with US and Canada based companies Sonotronics and Lotek, have over the past year been developing robust and energy efficient transmit protocols aimed at the aquatic research community. The two initial versions of the new open protocols coding (OPC) have been named OPi and OPs, for ID and sensor tags. OPi supports over 1 million unique IDs and OPs supports over 64 000 unique IDs with up to 4096 data points resolution. The main idea behind this was to develop protocols that will be available for all interested manufacturers and compatible with the most common existing and a new equipment. This will allow for creating networks all over the world, where transmitters and receivers from separate manufacturers can work together in order to obtain the best and most relevant data. Opening up for larger international networks with more data, taking the best ideas from each manufacturer and putting them together. Open protocols encourage healthy and fair competition, flexibility in choosing the best equipment, best service and prices. Opening the infrastructure networks of acoustical telemetry to all manufacturers of different types of sensors and tags, drives innovation and boosts availability of new solutions for future research.

With an increase in tagging projects, and the continuous deployment of thousands of receivers all over Europe and the world as well, OPi and OPs has been developed with this in mind. Both protocols are short and effective to reduce the issues of transmit collisions as well as the unique IDs are protected by 3rd party ID management and allocation under ETN and OTN.