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Turn your phone into a space monitoring tool

on 31 March 2022

A newly released Android app will turn your smartphone into an instrument for crowdsourced science. Leave it by your window each night with your satnav positioning turned on and your phone will record small variations in satellite signals, gathering data for machine learning analysis of meteorology and space weather patterns.

The CAMALIOT app, developed through ESA’s Navigation Innovation and Support Programme (NAVISP) with the support of the Agency’s GNSS Science Support Centre, is suitable for more than 50 models in the smartphone market which come equipped with dual frequency satnav receivers.

As well as helping to create new Earth and space weather forecasting models, participants are also in with the chance to win prizes including new phones and Amazon vouchers. This four-month ‘citizen science’ campaign runs until the end of July.

“Global Navigation Satellite Systems such as Europe’s Galileo have revolutionised everyday life,” explains ESA navigation engineer Vicente Navarro.

“And the precisely modulated signals continuously generated by the dozens of GNSS satellites in orbit are also proving a valuable resource for science, increasingly employed to study Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and surface environments. Our GNSS Science Support Centre was created to help support this trend.”

NAVISP is looking into all kinds of clever ideas about the future of navigation: ways to improve satellite navigation, alternative positioning systems and, new navigation services and applications.

Working in partnership with European industry and researchers, more than 200 NAVISP projects have been initiated so far.

More details here.

Image credit: University of Bath