6.5 Mahali: Mobile Phones and Cloud Computing in Space Weather and Beyond

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 9:30 AM
4C-2 (Washington State Convention Center )
Victor Pankratius, MIT, Westford, MA; and D. Mascharka, P. J. Erickson, F. Lind, A. Coster, M. Hirsch, J. Swoboda, and J. Semeter

The Mahali project prototypes a revolutionary architecture that uses mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, to form a global space weather monitoring network. Mahali exploits the existing GPS infrastructure - more specifically, delays in multi-frequency GPS signals observed at the ground - to acquire a vast set of global Total Electron Content (TEC) projections, with the goal of imaging multi-scale variability in the global ionosphere at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution.  With connectivity available worldwide, mobile devices are excellent candidates to establish crowd sourced global relays that feed multi-frequency GPS sensor data into a cloud processing environment to reconstruct the structure of the space environment, and its dynamic changes. This presentation will also discuss deployment experiences from a field campaign in Alaska and outline an Android phone app that is able to gather data from various dual-frequency GPS receivers. The app demonstrates parsing of full-day RINEX files on mobile devices and on-the-fly computation and visualization of vertical TEC values on 2 million datapoints using phone GPUs. As all data collection and processing pipelines are configurable for various kinds of instruments, the presentation will finally outline how the Mahali infrastructure can be adapted to other science areas.

This project is supported by NSF INSPIRE AGS-134396 (PI: V. Pankratius). Visit at http://mahali.mit.edu

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