For disaster-prone areas, fragile connectivity stays a significant drawback, typically going offline in vital moments. Aerospace enterprises face an analogous problem when making an attempt to run constant high-altitude connectivity whereas working in distant areas, which may also be very costly. That is the place Project OWL comes into play: creating new applied sciences to assist deal with these challenges.
Shaped in 2018 to compete within the inaugural Call for Code World Problem — which it received — Challenge OWL is a world group of entrepreneurs targeted on creating radically cost-effective and straightforward to make use of aerospace applied sciences. In June, we took a significant step in our journey by conducting a collection of air sure checks dubbed “SpaceDucks 3” in San Luis Obispo, CA. We’re happy to report that we efficiently launched six balloons, together with a gaggle of 5 mesh SpaceDucks at one time.
We imagine these balloons could make a distinction throughout a pure catastrophe state of affairs (e.g., an earthquake, hurricane or wildfire), and once we can deploy our expertise to the skies and even area. This makes it simpler to hook up with the communities which have been devastated by catastrophe.
Our sensors are designed to be much less prone to being destroyed as they sit far past the attain of hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes. This permits them to offer extra full, world connectivity and reduces the danger of being destroyed by all of the unhealthy issues that occur right here on earth’s floor.
How SpaceDucks 3 permits the way forward for catastrophe connectivity
There are enormous markets for aerospace expertise, to not point out the societal affect we are able to make offering distant or disaster-struck areas with primary, low price, easy communications when it’s wanted most. We’re creating options that we imagine can have a wide-ranging business and defense-focused affect on the world.
Collaboration was key throughout our mission. We have been accompanied by a full Cal Poly Analysis group who assisted within the launch. We additionally labored with college students from The University of Texas at Dallas, and acquired help by our partnership with Raytheon Technologies. OWL has U.S. Air Force to thank as a part of the R&D funding as effectively.
We efficiently accomplished our main objective of creating community hyperlinks from the bottom to our air-bound SpaceDuck sensor, and again all the way down to a separate floor station. We lined 60 miles of whole distance at 90,000 ft altitude. In actual fact, one among OWL’s SpaceDucks, TARAQUR-1, broke our earlier altitude report and reached 91,863.5 ft.
IBM and the Name for Code group have been key to fueling our firm’s development by funding, the help of technical group members and numerous assets over time. We have now been collaborating with IBM to make use of the IBM Watson Text to Speech Library for Embed. OWL used a cloud-based analytics dashboard, powered by IBM Watson, to intuitively observe and talk with the balloons whereas air-bound. The AI-powered chatbot was capable of learn out the standing of the balloons all through the three-hour flights and preserve our group knowledgeable.
OWL’s distinctive technical answer and problem-solving strategy
Comms tools that’s light-weight, simple to make use of and radically price efficient are all traits wanted throughout pure disasters. OWL may help enterprises management their functions with a resilient community floating above our heads.
Throughout our check, we proved 915mhz LoRa communications at excessive altitude on atmospheric climate balloons. Whereas doing so, we collected a wide range of sensor information — together with temperature, strain, altitude, humidity and accelerometers — and visible media for evaluation and publication.
Comply with together with OWL’s check and journey
The growth of the group throughout OWL and our companions engaged on SpaceDucks has been sensational.
Sooner or later, our expertise may make it easier to message a liked one in a catastrophe state of affairs when different networks are down. We are actually one step nearer to creating that imaginative and prescient a actuality. We hope you’ll be a part of us.