|Welcome to APRS in Adelaide
What is APRS?
APRS is short for Automatic Position Reporting System, which was designed and is copyright to Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, and introduced by him at the 1992 TAPR/ ARRL Digital Communications Conference.
Fundamentally, APRS is a packet communications protocol for disseminating live data to everyone on a network in real time.
Its most visual feature is the combination of packet radio with the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network, enabling radio amateurs to automatically display the positions of radio stations and other objects on maps on a PC.
Other features not directly related to position reporting are supported, such as weather station reporting, direction finding and messaging. APRS is different from regular packet in several ways:
- It provides maps and other data displays, for vehicle/personnel location and weather reporting in real time.
- It performs all communications using a one-to-many protocol, so that everyone is updated immediately.
- It uses generic digipeating, with well-known callsign aliases, so that prior knowledge of network topology is not required.
- It supports intelligent digipeating, with callsign substitution to reduce network flooding.
- Using AX.25 UI-frames, it supports two-way messaging and distribution of bulletins and announcements, leading to fast dissemination of text information.
- It supports communications with the Kenwood TH-D7 and TM-D700 radios, which have built-in TNC and APRS firmware.
Conventional packet radio is really only useful for passing bulk message traffic from point to point, and has traditionally been difficult to apply to real-time events where information has a very short lifetime.
APRS turns packet radio into a real-time tactical communications and display system for emergencies and public service applications.
APRS provides universal connectivity to all stations, but avoids the complexity, time delays and limitations of a connected network.
It permits any number of stations to exchange data just like voice users would on a voice net.
Any station that has information to contribute simply sends it, and all stations receive it and log it.
APRS recognizes that one of the greatest real-time needs at any special event or emergency is the tracking of key assets.
Where is the marathon leader? Where are the emergency vehicles? What's the weather at various points in the county?
Where are the power lines down? Where is the head of the parade? Where is the mobile ATV camera? Where is the storm?
To address these questions, APRS provides a fully featured automatic vehicle location and status reporting system.
It can be used over any two-way radio system including amateur radio, marine band, and cellular phone.
There is even an international live APRS tracking network on the Internet.
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APRS® is a registered trademark of Bob Bruninga.
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