A fun project that lights up a traffic signal when the ISS is overhead
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This is a fun project to take a remote power controller (IP Power IP9258), a traffic light, and some software to turn on different lights when the ISS (International Space Station) is over your location. The different color lights represent different visibility states:

  • Red: The ISS is overhead but obscured by daylight
  • Yellow: The ISS is overhead but eclipsed by the Earth's shadow
  • Green: The ISS is overhead and visible to the naked eye

This package relies on a couple of other packages I wrote: Predict and Services_IPPower. The former handles the ISS prediction logic and the latter is a simple IP Power http client.

To install via PEAR, just do the following:

    pear channel-discover shupp.github.com/pirum
    pear install shupp/Predict-alpha
    pear install shupp/Services_IPPower-alpha

Next, just clone this repository, edit the run.php file and put in your location and IP Power access information. Then try it out by executing the run.php file:

    php run.php

Now, when the ISS flies overhead, this happens:

Traffic Light

And to confirm, I pulled up my trusty Where the ISS at? site and it looked like this:

Where the ISS at? screenshot


Bill Shupp