The final test we did with Paul at the volcano yesterday was to download a photo while talking on the VoIP phone at the same time. The router currently gives no priority (or Quality of Service preferences) to audio data – all data gets treated with equal priority. As a result while we’re filling the bandwidth with photo information the audio drops out. This could be solved by setting a Quality of Service preference for audio data. The image would then download slower, but the audio conversation would be maintained. Another option is to self regulate the conversation and keep quiet while waiting for downloads or other priority data.
Today saw a successful trial of the iPhone application in the field using the BGAN.
I must draw readers attention to the charitable organisation EarthWatch who allow anyone to come on numerous field trips to act as a volunteer to help the researchers.
Checkout their website for full details as you do not need to know anything about a given topic in order to help! And your contribution will help support EarthWatch’s work.
Also check out how an EarthWatch attendance could count towards credits toward an Open University course at EarthWatch February Newsletter
Today was spent with Mike and Hillary on the ecology trail.
Today being Sunday and volunteer swap out day no one visited the volcano. Most of the researchers relaxed in the shade of the courtyard at the hotel catching up on data entry of the data they have recorded over the past week.
Today I performed a suite of tests at another more hospitable location on the volcano.
Today we all went to the Nindiri plateau to take VLF and micro gravity readings and I managed to setup the BGAN to perform various tests.
On Saturday Paul went back up to Masaya volcano for a couple of hours in the morning. Again we used the BGAN terminal to connect to the Internet. As before, we used Skype text chat throughout as our back channel for communication. The Ricoh WiFi camera worked well for taking pictures and sending them over the local WiFi network to the Asus server, where I could then access them from the UK. This time I managed to get a video of the process to show the performance of the service (see clip). The thumbnail images came down in about 11 seconds and a full picture took about 23 seconds. This is certainly usable for getting live photos from the field.
Today Paul used the BGAN terminal on the side of the volcano to send back live photos.
Today was a very productive day regarding the taking of readings with Hazel’s team and was a very busy one.