Updates on amateur.sondehub.org

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Mark Jessop

Jul 16, 2022, 10:12:27 PMJul 16
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Hi all,

I just thought I'd give some updates on where we are at with amateur.sondehub.org.

Amateur.sondehub.org was started after we realised that the sondehub.org (radiosonde tracking) database architecture could be fairly easily used for tracking amateur balloon launches, and easily had enough capacity. Sondehub is fairly expensive to run, however we have taken measures to reduce costs, and we are currently fully funded for at least the next 12 months via a grant from ARDC (ampr.org). 

So, the current state of amateur.sondehub.org:

- We have an open API for telemetry submissions ( https://github.com/projecthorus/sondehub-infra/wiki ), however telemetry must be submitted in an already-parsed format (https://github.com/projecthorus/sondehub-infra/wiki/%5BDRAFT%5D-Amateur-Balloon-Telemetry-Format)
- There is a python telemetry uploader library, with documentation on how to use it to upload telemetry: https://github.com/projecthorus/pysondehub/wiki/SondeHub-Amateur-Uploader-Class-Usage
- We have a working APRS gateway (https://github.com/projecthorus/sondehub-aprs-gateway) which has been performing well, with low latency. I am looking into adding support for a subset of comment-field telemetry formats.
- Flight operators can adjust the prediction setting for their payload callsign using an interface on the tracker. This also allows enabling of 'float' predictions.
- In addition to the custom predictions, for payload that are floating, we have a 'float' button (see example here: https://twitter.com/vk5qi/status/1545956263854743552 ) which uses the Tawhiri prediction engine to perform a hysplit-like prediction of a floating balloon.
- We have a grafana-based dashboard system ( https://grafana.v2.sondehub.org/d/VeLSoQqnz/flights?orgId=1 ) allowing selection, display and export (CSV, KML, JSON) of flight telemetry. This is very new, and needs to be documented and developed further. This also allows for the generation of pie charts :-)

What we do *not* have right now:
- A UKHAS string parser (this is the big one). We see this as being something that should be a 'sidecar' API, with a parser running which then passes data onto the main DB in the appropriate format. This is something that we really need help with. We would be happy to host this, but we don't have much in the way of resources to develop it, or the knowledge of the existing Habitat functionality...
- 'Flight' documents. Within HabHub flight documents are used to put an entry into a calendar, and to make it easier to extract telemetry from the habitat database. In sondehub-amateur, selection and extraction of telemetry is best done via the grafana dashboard interface.
- A feature-complete standalone predictor. We currently have https://predict.sondehub.org which takes the habhub predictor, switches it to Leaflet maps and uses the Tawhiri API, but it does not have the 'cached' prediction functions (allowing sharing of a URL) that the habhub predictor does. The repo for this is: https://github.com/projecthorus/leaflet_predictor
- IRC bots of any kind. If this is wanted, then it probably wouldn't be too difficult to make something that listens to the live output of the database and announces flights. 

In short, to make amateur.sondehub.org a feature-complete replacement for Habhub, we *need help*. We would love to see others in the community contribute to help bring up the functionality of this system. 
I'm usually in #highaltitude on libera.chat, but a lot of the development discussion occurs on the SDR Enthusiasts Discord (#radiosonde_auto_rx channel) at: https://discord.gg/JpytGYCs (noting this link expires in 7 days)

Mark VK5QI

Mark Jessop

Jul 24, 2022, 3:40:11 AMJul 24
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As an update to this, our fork of the Tawhiri predictor (https://github.com/projecthorus/tawhiri/) now has a new format option in the API, allowing request of KML or CSV-formatted predictions.


The CSV and KML links on predict.sondehub.org are now functional. 

Mark VK5QI

John Laidler

Jul 24, 2022, 5:27:04 AMJul 24
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I can't help with the coding, it's beyond me, but I do want to thank you and the others involved in this project for your work, it is very much appreciated.  

I've been testing a WSPR tracker this week and using Perdro's excellent site to capture the spots and plot them. It should be showing on the QRP Labs site as well but because of the 4 figure / 6 figure grid issue it isn't.  Pedro's site also successfully uploaded to aprs.fi and it was supposed to upload to HabHub as well but the tracker did not appear there.  However, I've just checked on your site and if you look at 3 days of data M0WIV-11 has appeared. This also showed up a really useful feature of the site - the balloons are listed alphabetically!

At the moment it seems the whole WSPR balloon community is relying on Pedro's site, which is providing a very valuable service but if you are able to create another site this will add resilience to the system.


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