With straight point to point access and wide open spaces for radio signal propagation, water ways are an under appreciated resource in many nations.
Instead of having driverless cars that take up the same amount of road, tunnel and bridge spaces, what about freeing up traditional choke points (like river crossings) and have thousands of autonomous watercraft ferrying people across and along waterways ?
We are currently working on a Marine Terrestrial Positioning System for autonomous boats on water and for drones over water. It involves gathering existing radio signals, sort out the reliable ones and investigating placement of extra radio beacons.
For example, how many bluetooth beacons we need for an autonomous watercraft to park itself safely at a public pier ?
The most obvious use of geopos.org, a geo positioning system based on terrestrial radio signals (e.g. cell tower, wifi, bluetooth etc.), is for indoor positioning.
However, geopos.org can also be of use outdoors to complement existing satellite navigation systems (satnav) by providing sub-meter accuracy rapidly and also as a backup during major disasters (e.g. massive solar flares towards earth) and wars between nations with armed space capabilities (e.g. positioning satellites shot down).
Radio signals are often collected as part of geo-positioning activity (e.g. Virtual Vaccine) on land, but are rarely collected on water.
As part of this Marine Infrastructure project, we are building up of a radio signal dataset around the Sydney Harbour to see how feasible it is to use it for navigation and parking of autonomous watercraft WITHOUT using satnav.
You can submit data you have collected using 88.io to us or join us as we cruise around the Sydney water ways building the next generation of infrastructure on water!
Currently we have a Searay Sundeck on Sydney Harbour with equipment to measure different radio signal strength (satellite, mobile cell tower, wifi, bluetooth). We will be adding TV signals as well as traditional emergency radio channel signal strengths in the future.
The research boat is not just for geo positioning, we believe having direct line of sight across water to some many locations is also a great way of providing backup internet connections when the main internet exchange in the local area goes down.
If you have a valid boat license and are experienced with the Sydney Harbour, you are welcomed to apply to be part of the crew in helping us do the survey of the Sydney water ways.
If you have an apartment or a house that has a direct line of sight of the water in the Sydney Harbour, you are welcome to apply to be a radio beacon host or radio signal tester.
See you on the water!