Naval Academy Radio Club's
2011 Army/Navy Football Run LIVE Tracking Page

USNA Satellite Ground Station, Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
W3ADO Radio Club,

Annual 13th Company Football Run: At noon Friday, 9 Dec, almost 150 midshipmen from the 13th Company began running the Army/Navy game football 125 miles from Annapolis to the stadium in DC instead of the usual trip to Philly. But to maintain fitness, the runners will run the same 120 miles via a circuitous route through Maryland and DC passing by a number of prominent landmarks to arrive the next morning for the Saturday Game. This page is constantly in work to keep up to date, so if it does not work for you now. Try again in a few minutes..

USNA Radio Club Communications: For the last 25 years, the USNA Radio Club, W3ADO (one of the oldest ECA at USNA since 1928), with the help of the AERO Satellite Lab, maintains comms and tracking of the runners using the same kind of amateur radio GPS position reporting technology used in the Academy's student satellite projects. The small cadre of FCC licensed and other interested midshipmen in the USNA radio club, W3ADO, provide communications support for the Brigade during this Football tracking event and the midshipmen Sea Trials in the spring.

At Ft McHenry! in Baltimore Departing there at 1700

LIVE POSITION: Click these links to see the current position. FBALL, and CHASE-2, and CHASE-3 van's. . . Actually, once you are on the google page, you can also simply hit the select all link to include all callsigns on the same map, then zoom around to see all three vehicles. You will also see all of the other Ham radio operators using our APRS tracking system developed here at USNA.

The remainder of this page shows how we used to do it, starting with hand-drawn maps back in about 1996 through about 2005 or so. Then we started simply linking to Google maps to do the plotting. Please also see how our on-board camera Automatic Picture Relay Network (APRN) can now work (though not implemented on the chase van this year).


LOCAL MAP: This map covers Annapolis through Baltimore to Essex:

Go Navy - Beat Army from Space: Last year, the USNA radio club made contact with the crew of the space station and bantered lively about the game. See the 2005 details or hear the audio.

This system is called the Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS) and is operated entirely by volunteer Amateur Radio operators. Over 30,000 ham radio operators worldwide use this system routinely for public service and disaster preparedness. All you need to know is someone's callsign and if they are transmitting their APRS position, then APRS can not only find them, but the network also supports brief messaging as well. The satellite images are from on-line databases and the web page overlays the live GPS coordinates on them.

ENROUTE This photo was from 2001 as they headed up route 2.

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The Remainder of this page is not being used this year

Remote Amateur Radio Ken-Cam LIVE Images (2002):

The following section was updated in real time* via amateur radio link whenever new images were received from the lead vehicle. Most images were taken by the handheld Ken-Cam during changes in runners at each of the legs. (Also, see 1998's Photos). 1999's Photos). Here are the new photos as they came in via HAM radio:.

  • Helmet mounted GPS unit (not used this year)
  • Time Runners
  • 1100 Radio/Chase Vans
  • 1115 Runners (Before shot)
  • 1130 On top of Pendinnis Mount
  • 1145 APRS Operator
  • 1215 Runners
  • 1610 Army AMBUSH!
  • 1620 Army Ambush Standoff!
  • 1630 Handoff Team 5 to Team 6 Ruddy and Curry
  • Thanks to LT Skip Johnson for capturing these at the 7th wing Radio Club and forwarding them.

    These images are transmitted back live via Amateur radio using what is called SSTV, Slow Scan TV. HAMS have been doing this for over 30 years, but now with WEB technology, we can instantly post these live images to our WEB page too...

    APRN BACKGROUND: APRN (Automatic Picture Relay Network) is a live amateur radio channel for the transmission of remote KEN-CAM images. We can even automatically place the station on the map if he uses an attached GPS unit. Thus this APRN web page is automatic and catalogs, indexes and makes available images instantly. There is no better mechanism than APRN for diseminating real-time, in-the-field images from amateur radio operators in support of emergencies or public service events. APRN augments the worldwide APRS amateur radio position reporting and mesaging system by giving vision to remote and mobile operations.

    APRN is a concept presented by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR at the Digital Communication Conference in Chicago, 25 September 1998 and his robotic VISION system presented at the DCC in Baltimore, Sept 1997.

    Here is also a replay of the 1993 Army-Navy game football run to NJ Meadowlands

    And here is a picture of the original GPS tracker built into a football helmet.


    W3ADO Club Station Power Point Summary May, 2007

    Return links:
    SAT-STATION APRN Annapolis

    APRS

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