We’ll be using the standard AM-SSB capable radio and dl-fldigi to decode the incoming signals from the balloon. It’s after that that things get a little more complex.
We would like to be able to visually plot the balloon’s position on a map without relying on an internet connection. As such we aim to write software to take data from dl-fldigi via its TCP port and output it to the tracking system we used on Apex I as this worked brilliantly. The data will be fed to Mappoint 2004 so we can see the balloon’s position without requiring internet access.
We will have a 3G internet dongle in at least one of the vehicles so decoded data from the radios can be fed to the DL server. Provided we have internet connectivity we can also use the DL tracking web page to see balloon position, altitude, ascent rates, etc. However we aim to implement all this functionality locally so as to not rely on net connection.
The software is called “Packet Handler” and is written in VB. It can be found in the APEX II repository github (here).
We will also have a GPS on at least one of the tracking vehicles so its position can be plooted by the DL server and tracker. This requires a USB GPS receiver and some reasonably simple software. (For L1 the software was a small python script written by Adam Greig, which can be found here).