AirWhere - Aviation Detection System
AirWhere has been designed to offer a lightweight, flexible and cheap approach to pilot awareness.
We have used small inexpensive components, coupled with WiFi to be used whilst paragliding where size and weight are at a priority
This website gives you the opportunity to build one of these small units and to give you the ability to view each in the air
Currently we offer the use of various flight software namely LK8000, XCsoar, XCTrack and FlySkyHy to connect to the unit, more flight software compatibility coming soon.
We are always still developing the software, adding new features, fixing any issues, feedback is welcomed! Please use the contact us page.
Please join our facebook group to ask questions and get more info on the project here
AirWhere is FREE. We do not charge for downloading or building an AirWhere unit, or use of the live tracking page on this website, however this does incur costs for us so please do feel free to donate a small amount to help with the running costs, this would be appreciated, thanks
How does it work
You fly with a tiny box in your pocket, on your flight deck or integrated into your flight computer. We will mainly be discussing XCSoar or LK8000 running on a smartphone, Kobo or Tablet so its worth familiarising yourself with this software.
This is the AirWhere Unit and it contains a microprocessor and a radio transmitter/receiver.
Your flight hardware ie Kobo, android phone, iphone etc is linked by WiFi or Bluetooth or directly wired to the AirWhere box. It sends your GPS position to the box and this is sent on via the Radio Link to other AirWhere boxes and/or a ground station. This can be up to 20km away! We have seen 30km in testing but this is rare, our record to a ground station is 80km, let us know if you beat this ! This information is then processed by AirWhere and this displays on your Kobo or Android System. The information is usually in the form of a triangle on screen with a number next to it showing the other pilots climb tate, more information can be retrieved by various screens on the flight software.
AirWhere can also be attached to the web and not only your position uploaded, but all other pilots that your AirWhere picks up to the web
The benefits of this system are numerous, here are a few:-
- Imagine being on a cross country flight and knowing that there is another pilot 5km away and being able to see his climb rate, you can basically be told about thermals from many km away.
- If you are accidently sucked up into cloud with an XC flying buddy, then you will be able to see each other on screen and safety avoid each other, this in itself is worth building or buying a system!
- With your wifi hotspot on or in range of a ground station, your position will be logged on the internet, this will help with retrieves, for safety and to show people where you are at.
The AirWhere unit itself pulls around 120mA - 150ma so when powered with a normal external battery pack of 5-6000 maH, batteries will last many hours.
Building an AirWhere
While initially it was a soldering and self build task to build AirWhere, we now off a "off the shelf" product for around £20, this in conjuction with your flight instrument will run the system, how can you afford not to have all these features and facilities for just £20!!
The project has moved in a new direction now, the initial concept of just the air to air tracking. We now have moved to a new chip ( its still only £5 to buy ) but we now have an accelerometer based vario, sounds, barometric pressure, temperature for an extra £10. Therefore we have a full setup for around £50 to build. This can be coupled with a smart phone running LK8000, XCSoar, FlyskyHy or similar to give you a complete setup. We hope this will help bring a complete flight instrument to everyone. Hopefully soon we will have these to purchase aswell for around £100, or a kit for self building.
Thanks to Linar Yusupov (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the initial concept and for help getting his idea working, Mike Endacott and Peter Crayfourd for their help in testing and making this idea come to life :)
Please note at the moment we are still developing the system to there could be some website changes and changes in the code, so please send us an email to let us know your making one so we can keep you up to date with any changes
We already are compatible with two manufacturers who are bringing out a commercial version of their own AirWhere - We will be compatible with this so we can all see each other. If you are a manufacturer who would like to get involved and produce their own verison we have a software libary you can install on your unit and then add the £8 RF LORA chip and then you will be seen by everyone and part of the system - this is free and very easy to get involved.
The following schematic shows how the system works
Then when you have it running you will see each other on your flight software as below
Hope you have fun with the project.