open-source tool for Project Loon live signal tracking
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README.md

Point a Loon

We highly believe that project Loon implementation can be greatly improved by using directional LTE atennas so we developed a Loon tracker and antenna tracker, with this you can get a DIY antenna tracker following the nearest balloon to your location, further improvemnts comming! Our software is open-source, so you can host your own loon tracker; however, we have deployed a public API to ease this system implementation.

API Usage

The API we provide is hosted at Google Firebase, remember you need to create an API token first.

Create API Token

Create API token for using Google Loon antenna tracker API.

Create in our website!

or

/createToken GET Request
https://data.pointaloon.com/createToken?email=mymail@mydomain.com

Parameters required:

  • email=mail to bind with the new token.

Response: JSON with registered mail and assigned token.

Example:
{"token":"-Kp_R2BLaamqXTruCE-o","email":"youremail@domain.com"}

Tokens without activity in a long time period will be deleted, calling /point periodically will prevent that.

Point Antenna

/point GET Request
http://data.pointaloon.com/point?t=-KpXzvOkApAjugM8GgWe&lat=-5.4&lng=-80.7&alt=75

Parameters required:

  • t=API token
  • lat=latitude of antenna location
  • lng=longitude of antenna location
  • alt= height in meters above sea level from antenna location

Response: JSON with desired azimuth and altitude data for atenna in degrees, distance to the nearest balloon, and object Loon with balloon data (callsign,altitude,speed,postion,track,etc).

Example:
{"ant_alt":-13.044651036040841, "ant_azm":314.3787496140375, "distance":2966056.5460053235, "loon":{"alt":15788.639494763536, "lat":-11.8075,"lng":-76.2704, "name":"HBAL941","seen":1500638350, "speed":15,"track":121} }
This also will update your token last activity. For initial postioning you need to have a minimal connection to the network, the request size is as little as 500 bytes of data.

Get live Loon balloons status

/loons GET Request

https://data.pointaloon.com/loons?t=-KpXzvOkApAjugM8GgWe

Parameters required:

  • t=API token

Response: JSON with all objects Loon detected, each object include callsign,altitude,speed,postion,track,etc from balloon.
This also will update your token last activity.

Example:
{"HBAL020":{"alt":16093.439485009936,"lat":-6.3734,"lng":-78.456,"name":"HBAL020","seen":1500760514,"speed":7,"track":203}, "HBAL044":{"alt":17708.87943331586,"lat":-3.6557,"lng":-61.919,"name":"HBAL044","seen":1500760515,"speed":16,"track":119}, "HBAL051":{"alt":15819.119493788176,"lat":-0.478,"lng":37.6499,"name":"HBAL051","seen":1500760511,"speed":6,"track":270}... }

Force-update Loon data

/update GET Request
http://data.pointaloon.com/update
Refresh balloons database from flightradar24.com Deprecated since our server call it automatically.

Further improvements:

  • Arduino/raspberry code for a DIY Loon tracker
  • Guide for a simple Loon antenna tracker with Arduino
  • Hardware BOM suggestion
  • Ready to use solution kit

Thanks to:

  • Flightradar24.com // Loon data provider
  • Don Cross's Azimuth/Distance Calculator // Geodesical calculations package
  • Google Project Loon Team for their amazing work

Disclaimer

We are neither part nor supported by Google Project Loon; furthermore, we are pleased to work with everyone.

Contributors

Any contribution will be welcommed

Website

Point a Loon