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[aprssig] DARPA "balloon hunt"

Chuck Gooden Chuck.Gooden at comcast.net
Wed Dec 16 01:48:49 UTC 2009

All of the balloons were in major cities.  They should do the test again 
but this time hid the balloons in places far outside of major cities, 
like the north woods of Minnesota and then see what the results are.

Richard Amirault wrote:
> 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
> http://bostonfandom.org
> ----- 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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