Author Topic: Transmit location over GSM?  (Read 889 times)

bladeslapper

Transmit location over GSM?
« on: February 26, 2019, 11:49:07 am »
Has this been discussed before? I can't find it on the forum but it seems like a logical evolution of the PA unit.
Install a cheap PAYG sim card and then set the PA unit to transmit location to a server and therefore allow us to track the aircraft in our fleet.
There are some very cheap dedicated units that will achieve this but it means doubling up on GNSS receiver and also on power supply. The PA unit is already doing this but with only the transmit part of the process missing - oh and something to receive the data at the other end of course.

Admin

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2019, 12:12:51 pm »
Hi

Interesting request, please PM me with your requirements
I think we could extract any data you require from our ground network

Thx
Lee

Paul_Sengupta

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2019, 02:52:51 am »
Note that transmitting in the air over the mobile network would be both unreliable and illegal.

As Lee points out, at least in the UK there's a network of OGN-R stations which receive PilotAware positions as well as Flarm positions.

bladeslapper

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2019, 04:46:09 pm »
Note that transmitting in the air over the mobile network would be both unreliable and illegal.

What makes you say that? My mobile phone functions very well in the air the vast majority of time. As do the tablets with SIM cards used for the moving maps. EasyVFR also does pretty much exactly what I was asking of PA by sending location data to a nominated person. From a safety point of view it would be better if it was automated and for all users of an A/C and that's where I thought PA (permanent install) would come in.

Quote
As Lee points out, at least in the UK there's a network of OGN-R stations which receive PilotAware positions as well as Flarm positions.

Yes that solution would work but I am not sure that there are sufficient receiving stations (particularly around this area) to provide as much coverage as a mobile network would. Also, I am not sure if the data received by the OGN-R stations is readily available?

Admin

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2019, 05:55:00 pm »
I am sure Paul will follow up (after all cellular networks is his day job!)
My understanding is that the footprint for the cell transmitters is not designed for airborne use, and is therefore sub optimal.
In the early days of testing the OGN-R data in the air, we also connected an internet feed (via 3G/4G) to the spot the glider site - the latency was completely unacceptable. Now this could be due to filtering in the software, but I got the impression it was purely down to the data refresh rates.

Thx
Lee

Alan Walker

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2019, 02:35:26 pm »
Would 5G sort this in due course?

bladeslapper

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2019, 05:39:00 pm »
Thinking about it further - I'm in helis the vast majority of time and so get all dizzy and confused of there is much more than 1000' below me!

The only problem I occasionally have with using the phone is actually when near towns and traveling quickly. It's seems as though the device cannot keep up with the changing of cell towers. This problem seems to have been massively reduced over the past few years though (maybe with 4G?) and is only really noticeable with voice where there can be temporary drop-outs.

The data being sent over the network to give position data would not need to be continuous of course. Just an idea of where the heli last had access to a network would at least narrow the search in the even of an overdue a/c. Especially if on a training flight and up around the fells of northern england.

There is equipment out there to do this such as spidertracks but PA is so nearly there is seems like a simple and cost effective compromise.

Vic

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2019, 05:39:35 pm »
Would 5G sort this in due course?


...That's a long hua-wei off  ;D

Paul_Sengupta

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2019, 01:40:22 pm »
Would 5G sort this in due course?

Not really, as that's also designed for use at ground level.

Moffrestorer

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2019, 09:29:46 pm »
EasyVFR Nav Program has used the 3G/4G network whilst airborne, for the last couple of years, for their flight tracking feature called “Virtual Radar”.

To quote their explanation of the feature; “ When you enable flight tracking your friends and family can monitor the progress of your flight via virtualradar.pocketfms.com
Simply pass them the flight ID that you created. As soon as flight mode is enabled and you start to move, the tracking will start. EVFR uses the mobile data 3G/4G capabilities of your device to send small packets of position reports every few seconds.”

I used this feature on the LAA 70th anniversary round Britain tour and it works very well showing your track virtually real-time on the map.


bladeslapper

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2019, 10:31:52 pm »
EasyVFR Nav Program has used the 3G/4G network whilst airborne, for the last couple of years, for their flight tracking feature called “Virtual Radar”.

To quote their explanation of the feature; “ When you enable flight tracking your friends and family can monitor the progress of your flight via virtualradar.pocketfms.com
Simply pass them the flight ID that you created. As soon as flight mode is enabled and you start to move, the tracking will start. EVFR uses the mobile data 3G/4G capabilities of your device to send small packets of position reports every few seconds.”

I used this feature on the LAA 70th anniversary round Britain tour and it works very well showing your track virtually real-time on the map.

Yes EXACTLY like that!
I was hopoing that we could have PA do it directly and automatically. Not many of the heli users use EasyVFR and although I do use it, not on every flight (local training flights for example) so it would be great it if the feature just booked up with PA and started working as PA does. I think it would be a really beneficial safety feature.

Vic

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2019, 12:30:14 pm »
I would suggest that the users of this flight tracking feature read the following piece of legislation...

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2017/669/made/data.pdf

This basically only permits mobile phones to be used on board aircraft if a mobile base station type device is installed in the aircraft and then, only if that aircraft is above 3000m

Airborne phones cause issues with the networks of ground receivers due to the number of ground masts that can be 'seen' compared to a device at ground level.

bladeslapper

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2019, 01:00:46 pm »
Quote
Airborne phones cause issues with the networks of ground receivers due to the number of ground masts that can be 'seen' compared to a device at ground level.

yeah exactly the problem I have had.

Good to know the rules tho - thanks for the link.

I'll make sure I always use my phone nice and high in future and initiate the fitment of the base stations into the fleet then we can hopefully progress this use of PA in this way.

Paul_Sengupta

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2019, 01:14:07 pm »
I can supply you with a base station if you require!  ;D 8)

You'll need a Satphone link as well. If it's just you, you might as well just use the satphone link on its own.

Moffrestorer

Re: Transmit location over GSM?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2019, 10:26:51 pm »
Hi Vic and Paul,

It’s likely that virtually all recreational pilots take their mobile phones with them whilst flying. Should we be switching them to Flight Mode to avoid transmissions “swamping” multiple cells due to increased height when airborne? What are the recommendations because I’m not aware that anything has been publicised. I thought that Flight Mode in phones was provided to avoid interference to flight instruments and aircraft systems, mainly in CAT.

Thx,

Chris