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By Sanjeev Ghimire, Sanjay Saxena | Published April 13, 2017
There is a lot of data floating in the air and you can grab it with a Software Defined Radio. It’s possible to track every nearby commercial flight with a simple Raspberry Pi sensor node, enhance the data with weather information, and render it with a mobile augmented reality display.
This code pattern shows how Watson IoT platform and Weather Company data can be used to integrate sensors and mobile clients. With advances in avionics and the availability of cheap computing resources such as Raspberry Pi, a simple ground station may be easily built. Once configured, ground stations can be replicated using Docker to be able to cover large areas. Each ground station:
Uses a SDR receiver with an antenna to receive information about flights within a 150 miles radius, depending on the altitude and the line-of-sight. Software Defined Radios (SDR) are an emerging technology for consumer, enterprise, and government applications, in which a radio signal is demodulated in software instead of custom hardware.
Act as network-connected IoT device to publish the flight information over Watson IoT Platform MQTT services. An iOS application subscribes to the data stream while also requesting Weather Company temperature data for the GPS coordinates of the aircraft. This information is displayed in both a map view and an augmented reality display, in which the user can hold their phone up to the sky with an aircraft location overlay.
Ready to put this code pattern to use? Complete details on how to get started running and using this application are in the README.
Peek behind the curtain of any new innovation, and you’ll likely find a foundation built on open source contributions.
Before open source was cool, IBM was busy donating our code, establishing open licensing, pushing for open governance in the…
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