Mobile Phone Tracking

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Well-Known Member
Feb 24, 2009
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After hearing about the MIT kids using a $30 prepaid phone and some free software to track their balloon to 93,000 ft, I wondered about using the same or a similar setup for rocket tracking.

The basic idea is that the phone sends text messages that detail its position and altitude using freeware software. It seems like the setup would work assuming that there was cell coverage near the launch area and the phone could withstand the flight conditions of a typical high power launch. What do you all think?
You would think as long as the cell phone can withstand the launch it would be a cool idea!
Below is a description of my setup along with costs. Attached is a Google Earth file that shows my lunch break exploits on foot today at 10 sec intervals.

Motorola i290 phone, GPS and web enabled $30
Boost Mobile paygo service web $.35/day
accutracking web service $7.99/month

There are some features and alerts of this particular service that
are handy for rocketry (fencing, email + sms alerts, "heartbeat" reporting)

View attachment