PARIS hits the road with live GPS tracker test
Join us at 2pm
Updated At 2pm UK time this afternoon the El Reg Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) team will be running a one-hour live test on the GPS tracker unit designed to allow us to locate and recover the project's main payload.
Blue Tree Service's KoolTrax Lite delivers its location over the mobile phone network, so if it can't get a signal there's no track. However, it will report back as soon as it regains a connection, so we're working on the basis that if it can't send its position from extreme altitude, it will be able to do so once it's returned to terra firma.
To give the unit a decent run, we've chosen a mountainous region for today's jaunt, with plenty of mobe-blocking rock along the way. Hats off to Blue Tree for providing us with the data feed which allowed our tech boys to mash up the splendid custom map below, currently displaying the last location recorded a couple of days back, but which at 2pm will go live when the test kicks off.
Bear in mind that our command vehicle is not in touch with Vulture Central, so the tracker's on its own, as it will be when the big day comes. Enjoy the ride...
Well, as you can see, the tracker worked fine. There's a gap in the middle of the data, in a deep valley with no mobile coverage. We planned this route with that in mind, and wanted to see if the unit would re-establish contact when it got back in range. Job done.
If the unit inexplicably comes to a sudden halt and holds its position, don't panic: the most likely explanation is a PARIS team in-flight refuelling facility, aka a bar.