Android App To Improve Weather Forecasts
Written by Sue Gee   
Tuesday, 29 March 2022

The European Space Agency wants to improve weather forecasts using smartphone-based GNSS observations. Download the free CAMALIOT app to participate in data collection The campaign will run until June 30th and participants can win prizes.

CAMALIOT is a project funded by the ESA (European Space Agency) and led by ETH Zurich is collaboration with ESA to build the infrastructure for ingesting large volumes of observations from various kinds of GPS-capable receivers, including Android phones.  

The CAMILIOT app has been developed to collect data from the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) network of satellites that orbit the earth. These are the satellites used for location-based applications such as satnav but ESA has new uses for the data. For its debut project the idea is to use satellite signals to get more information about the atmosphere, relying on the fact that water vapor in the atmosphere can affect how a satellite signal travels through the air. Accordingly, the app gathers information to track signal strength, the distance between the satellite and the phone being used, and the satellite’s carrier phase. 

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By collecting lots of data from around the world, and combining it with existing weather readings researchers can measure long-term water vapor trends and use this to improve both Earth and space weather forecasting

According to the FAQ's on the CAMILIOT site:

The goal of this project is troposphere/ionosphere modelling and forecasting of troposphere-related and ionosphere-related based on the data fusion of GNSS observations (raw GNSS data from the CAMALIOT mobile app and GNSS data from geodetic stations) with other sources of valuable information, all performed with the use of machine learning.

There is a strong tradition of using crowd-sourced effort and data for scientific research, think SETI@Home and more recently Folding @ Home. Climate change is popular topic and both Zooniverse and BOINC have lots of projects that individuals can join. To help ESA with its initiative to gather data for machine learning analysis of meteorology and space weather patterns first install the CAMALIOT app from Google Play, which works on devices running Android version 7.0 or later that support satellite navigation. Leave your Android phone by your window each night with your satnav positioning turned on and your phone will record small variations in satellite signals. Upload your session to the server and repeat. This campaign started on March 17th and continues until June 30th and details of how to win prizes such as a dual frequency Android phone and Amazon vouchers will become available during the campaign.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 March 2022 )