Wednesday, March 23, 2011

APRS supports radiation monitors

Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, has updated the APRS specifications to allow amateur radiation monitoring stations to report readings over APRS.
  1. A new APRS symbol for a radiation monitor has been defined using the characters RH. Although this is an H symbol with an R overlay, Bob suggests that there is no reason why APRS clients cannot give this symbol a distinctive icon.
  2. A new weather field X has been defined for reporting nuclear radiation levels. The format is Xxxx where the first two digits are the precision and the last is the order of magnitude in nanosieverts. So 123 is 12 * 10^3 nanosieverts or 12 microsieverts.
There are already websites that report radiation levels using proprietary software, for example Radiation Network (which only covers the USA.) But the ability to report this information using the APRS network using the infrastructure that has already been developed for reporting weather observations is an exciting development that will no doubt lead to some interesting constructional projects.
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