An embryonic project born out of a serious need. This project couples an Ipad in a light aircraft to a ground station that tracks position via GPS in order to maintain a directional antenna pointing at it. The pilot can then send high res images of a search area back to ground without having to land. A range of approximately 15 miles from a single ground station, this project can speed up search and rescue carried out by volunteer pilots flying their own airplanes to assist in critical searches.
Amateur Radio helping Amateur Aviation to search for vulnerable missing persons.
A map shows the position of both the ground station and the aircraft. GPS coordinates are sent over LoRa which serves to keep the 2.4Ghz wifi antenna pointing at the aircraft.
Inside the aircraft there is a backpack placed on the spare seat and all the electronics are driven from battery. There is no connection to the aircraft systems. A small antenna for both LoRa and for 2.4Ghz is sufficent to maintain contact. Prior to this system the pilot would have to land to transfer files from memory card. AirWifi cuts down the time between a photograph of a search site being taken and it being examined closely by experts on the ground.
Initial testing of this proof of concept project have produced excellent results.