[aprssig] DARPA "balloon hunt"

Richard Amirault ramirault at verizon.net
Tue Dec 15 18:55:54 CST 2009

FYI .. for those who haven't heard ... a "team" from MIT won the DARPA 
"balloon hunt" (find and report the location of 10 tethered red weather 
balloons located in the continental USA first) .. less than 9 hours after 
the official start.
See: https://networkchallenge.darpa.mil/default.aspx

Richard Amirault

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Robert Bruninga"

>> $40K for finding 10 WX balloons.
>> That should be a piece of cake for APRS...
>> How about a collaborative effort... and
>> share the locations with the prize being
>> spent on APRS projects where they can do
>> the most good?
> Compared to FACEBOOK and other bazillion user networking sites,
> we don't have a chance, unless GREED makes it hard for them to
> organize a colaborative effort.
> I was going to propose $2k off the top for the successful
> spotters, but then that will get hard because many in a given
> area may see it at once and we don't want to squabble over the
> proceeds.  SO I agree. It all goes into APRS infrastructure,
> Igates, digipeaters, and APRS-IS etc... Including some to the
> person that writes the code (see below)...
> SO, given that we CAN do it...  How?
> Even if we come up with a good format, how do we get the other
> 40,000 APRS users to know it????  We can't use OBJECT format
> since some people might use the same name and they would
> cancel...  Probably have to use a MESSAGE format since it
> includes the sender..
> How accurate does the balloon position report have to be?
> WHO do we send the message to? To assure rapid collection?
> Assume it will be sent by mobiles.
> Can someone on the APRS-IS write an AUTO SYSTEM that works like
> follows:
> * Looks for messsages to "RED"
> * On receipt, CAPTURES FIRST POSITION of callsign that sent the
> message.
> * Builds the list (while watching distances between reports)
> * as soon as list = 10 with suitable DISTANCE between them IT
> I think that is the best we can do.  It is automated as best it
> can, so that 24/7 when we see all the balloons, we have done the
> best we can to respond.
> Maybe ALSO set up the same as above  but with the word "TEST"
> instead of "RED" so that we have something to test to... Without
> sending false alarms.  I would imagine that too many false
> alarms will get our group disqualified.
> Bob, Wb4APR

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