If you have checked the Nuno™ website lately you may have noticed a link on the main menu bar entitled ‘Mongolia’. We are supporting a team of young lads (Josh, Dan, Oli, Ollie & Rory) who are driving across Mongolia. This is a thoroughly worthy endeavor on its own. The guys have 10,000 miles or so of deserts and mountains to cross in a small underpowered van that they put together themselves. Nominally it’s a competition but really it’s about the sense of adventure, tackling the difficult and working as a team. The guys are also raising money for charity and if that were not enough they will also be donating what is left of the van and their equipment to the local communities around UlaanBaatar (assuming they get there).
The Mongolian dessert has some remarkable similarities with the open ocean. It is a vast undulating expanse where you can go days without seeing even a hint of another person. Another commonality is that your cell phone won’t work. What has this got to do with Nuno™? Well we have fitted the team’s car with a Skywave satellite transceiver. This is nifty bit of kit which combines a GPS with a mechanism for sending and receiving data, worldwide, via satellite in a very cost effective way. There is an awful lot you can do with this and we are working at integrating it with Nuno™. For now the Mongolian Rally is a trial. The unit is set up to send back a position every few hours so we can track their position. They can also send and receive short messages. The Inmarsat ground station passes data back and forth to a CherSoft server and then we can make good things happen.
Here are some of the features we are planning:
When you are on-board you can connect Nuno™ to the Skywave box and use it as a positioning device. You will also be able to send and receive short messages - like a global SMS facility. Friends will be able to track your position on a dedicated web page – you only give the password to the people you want to see this.
When you leave your vessel you will still be able to track its position, on Nuno, using messages via the satellite network and the Internet. So straight away we can set up a virtual boundary fence and send an alert (SMS/email) if your anchor drags or someone moves your boat.
The unit supports a variety of sensors and these can be configured to keep an eye on things while you are away. Messages will be sent at regular intervals or immediately if an alarm is triggered:
Battery voltage with a trigger if it drops too low
Entry alarm triggered on doors or hatchways
Ignition alarm if someone tries to start the engine
There is a lot of useful functionality here. Can’t tell you any exact prices at the moment but despite the high-end sophisticated monitoring and messaging it will not be high-end prices.
In the meantime one of our trial units has just crossed Europe and is now bouncing its way into Asia. You can check their progress here. Good luck Josh, Dan, Oli, Ollie & Rory. Be safe and have fun.