School Project - Arduino Personal Locator Beacon

Thread Starter

AdamDPLB

Joined May 27, 2019
3
Hi All,

I'm currently in Year 12, undertaking my major design project.

I have chosen to design and produce an emergency survival kit that comes with an in-built personal locator beacon. The personal locator beacon must have the capability of transmitting geolocation data to emergency services for atleast 72 hours. It must be able to work in remote areas.

I have purchased a range of parts in order to help create this project, of which, I will list below.

- Arduino Uno r3 Development Board
- Arduino compatible Long Range LoRa Shield
- Arduino Compatible GPS Receiver Module
- 2600mAg Metallic Power Bank
- 5/5.8GHz 5dBi Wireless Networking Antenna

I have been experimenting with Ardunio & Components for a while and now understand the basics. I have managed to get the GPS module to work and receive geolocation data. However, I have only been able to do this when the Arduino is plugged in and powered by a computer. For my project, I need to be able to send geolocation data to a specific source, whilst on the go, in remote areas.

I plan to power my components by using a portable power pack (similar to a portable phone charger), however, I am unsure of how to program the gps module to send geolocation data to the long range shield, which will then send the geolcationd data to emergency services (it can be a proof of concept but it needs to be communicated to something such as a cell phone or a radio frequency).

I would really appreciate any advice or information that can help me develop this project or point me in the right direction.

Kind Regards,
Adam
 
That sounds like a great project.

Can you outline all of the steps in your project...just writing them out in English? This can help you to identify the tasks with a goal of eventually making them manageable as small pieces that will work together.
 

Thread Starter

AdamDPLB

Joined May 27, 2019
3
That sounds like a great project.

Can you outline all of the steps in your project...just writing them out in English? This can help you to identify the tasks with a goal of eventually making them manageable as small pieces that will work together.
Thank you Raymond,

Yes, I can. I understand each step, however, I am unsure of how to program the GPS module to send the data it collects to a module, that can then send it to a specific source.

Manual activation will be required, once activated, the GPS module will gather geolocation data, this data will be sent to a module (like the long range shield) which will then transmit the data for as long as the battery can power it, to a specific source. The power bank that I have chosen should last 72 hours+.
 
Thank you Raymond,

Yes, I can. I understand each step, however, I am unsure of how to program the GPS module to send the data it collects to a module, that can then send it to a specific source.

Manual activation will be required, once activated, the GPS module will gather geolocation data, this data will be sent to a module (like the long range shield) which will then transmit the data for as long as the battery can power it, to a specific source. The power bank that I have chosen should last 72 hours+.
Can you use the arduino to send any kind of a character string to the "long range shield?
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
6,983
  • Can you attach a picture that shows a functional diagram of your connections? A schematic if you have one.
  • What libraries are you using in the Arduino sketch?
  • Do you have any code at this time? If you have written sketches (or used sample sketches) to individually test the components, please post them as well.
When posting code, please use code tags. Click on this icon, paste your code into the box and click Insert.
12DC473B-5DE1-49CB-B68B-F1AEEA858FAA.jpeg
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,937
Super cool project, plenty for you to think about!

Most likely, the GPS shield won't send data directly to another shield or component. Instead you will use the Arduino processor to read the data from the GPS, then again use the Arduino processor to send that data to the radio.

For battery life, you need to figure out how much power each device takes, both when active and when sleeping. Then figure out how much you can keep each device powered off or sleeping. For example, there is no need to keep the GPS, radio or Arduino processor powered up all the time. You will want to keep them all sleeping 99.9% of the time. Use the Arduino processor internal timer to wake it on occasion, active the GPS shield, take a reading, put the GPS shield back to sleep and activate the radio, transmit the data on the radio, then put the radio and processor back to sleep again. The longer you can space out your transmissions, the longer your battery life will be. Also keep in mind that voltage conversions are expensive. So if at all possible, pick components that can run on your battery voltage without having to be converted. For example, the Arduino Uno processor (atmega 328p) will operate from 1.8v to 5.5v which is great. Check if your radio and GPS receiver will do the same. If you can design your project without any voltage regulators then that's a bonus for battery life.

Here are some interesting reads on putting the Uno to sleep, and suggestions to switch to an Arduino Pro Mini for your final product, as it is a much more power efficient board, but very similar to the Uno in regards to programming:

https://thekurks.net/blog/2018/1/24/guide-to-arduino-sleep-mode

http://www.home-automation-communit...n-atmega328p-for-a-year-on-coin-cell-battery/

Side note: If your "remote location" is within cell phone range, then it might be easier to use a cell phone modem like this one, instead of a LoRa radio, mainly because you only have to worry about designing the transmitting side of things, not the receiving side.
 
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