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Surfin': APRS Finder

02/08/2013

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ repositions an airplane finder app to APRS-equipped vehicles.

I downloaded a free app for my iPhone: Plane Finder AR. You simply point the iPhone camera at an airborne airplane and the app displays the plane’s flight number, aircraft registration and distance from your location. A $2.99 version of the app displays more information including the plane’s airline, speed, altitude, aircraft type, origination and destination.

The method of accomplishing this is fascinating. I assume the app determines your location from the iPhone’s GPS, determines where you are pointing the camera from the iPhone’s compass then it compares that information (via the Internet) with its database of flight information to determine what planes are in the camera’s line of sight.

I imagine a similar app could be developed for APRS. Point the iPhone down the highway and using the iPhone’s GPS and compass data, the app could compare that information (via the Internet) to the APRS database to guess what APRS-equipped vehicles are in the iPhone’s line of sight.

If you do not have APRS in your vehicle, the app could be handy driving to and fro at Hamvention or other ham radio events.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.

 



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