Mobile Systems – tracking a world record attempt

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Information Technologies
Network & Communication Engineering

Cairo 2 Cape is the name of the current world record attempt of the exceptional Austrian extreme athlete, Michael Strasser.

He is attempting to traverse Africa by bike from the north to the south in 38 days. More precisely, from Cairo to Capetown – that’s about 11,000 kilometers. If it works, he’s going to reach his destination on the 6 March.

To let the sports community and his friends take part online in this challenge, his updated position while he is on tour will be tracked by means of a GPS-tracker and displayed on his homepage. Equipment, communication technology and know-how is contributed by a sports telematics team of the study program “Communication & Network Engineering”. The GPS-tracker permanently provides the exact position in an interval of 30 minutes.

Along the route between Cairo and Capetown, thousands of kilometers of mobile networks have to be overcome. A conventional GPS-tracker, for example a smartphone app, wouldn’t be able to carry out the live tracking without a network connection. The position data is transmitted from the GPS-tracker over the Iridium satellite network to the server of the University of Applied Sciences in Klagenfurt and stored in a database. From there, the position data are processed and made available to the homepage.

So far over 1,400 GPS-points have been tracked and assigned to the 33,000 map points along the route of about 11,000 km. The procedure is called track-mapping and provides high-precision information about the distance already completed as well as the 61,000 (!) meters of altitude mastered. Deviations in the daily stages can be determined quickly and an exact estimation of the expected target time is easy. Michael Strasser is also permanently under observation, even when he is cycling towards his personally greatest challenge far away from us on the other hemisphere.

The final of this challenge can also be followed in Redbulletin.