Satellite Uplink with GPS for 100$ a year.

Hello all,

Yesterday I saw this on sparkfuns homepage, part. I instantly thought about how great this would be in uav's.   My first thought would be for drone recovery. but the options are limitless.

You have to buy this, then take it apart.  Then the subscription pricing is $99.99 for the basic package which allows you to send unlimited messages of your gps location with one of 14 predifined messages.

For an addition fee ($50 for 500) you can send a custom message of up to 41 characters.

Anyway just thought i'd share.

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  • I have a Spot device, not one of the Blutooth activated ones, just a stand along device with the 4 basic messages.  I use it for outdoor adventure activities.  It works very well for what it is, and gives my family good piece of mind.  It's extremely easy to get out of cell-phone coverage in Canada, as it's probably a drastic exaggeration if you claimed that even 10% of our territory had coverage.  Despite what they cell phone vendors claim, as soon as you are ~100km from the US border, fuggedabout it.

    I don't think this could ever be used for a two-way command/control device for a UAV.  It is very slow.  The standard unit can only send messages once every 10-15 minutes.  It can be put in tracking mode where it sends it's location every 15 minutes.  This service is only $50/year on top of the basic service ($100/year).  You can use it an unlimited amount.

    I have already hung the device, as-is, on my helicopter as a "just in case" locating beacon.

    I honestly don't think I'd bother to try using it for any command/control.  It's just not practical.

  • Agreed with all comments. Their site gives coverage as percentages over a twenty minutes span, and highest being 99% over twenty minutes. I would agree that the gprs/gsm solution would work better for all populated areas, having the recovery routine post the last gps location to a webservice and such. As for the cost if you are using the preconfigured messages I believe they are unlimited on the basic plan, only the customized 41 character messages cost $0.10 each.
  • Jack, we would have to add software to only activate it on failsafe, and only every half hour or hour interval.

  • Messages being sent at 50Hz for a 10 minute flight would cost $15,000.

  • Useless for me as no SPOT coverage in my patch of map;


  • Ok, looks like it's using Globalstar:

    Globalstar, Globalstar M2M, Globalstar Spot, Globalstar Spot Connect, Iridium Handheld for Email an…
  • Awesome!  Just what I always wanted to do is hack satellites.  Is it using the Iridium network, I wonder.

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