Camaliot can turn an Android phone into a space monitoring tool

A newly released Android app will turn your smartphone into a crowdsourced scientific instrument. It’s—— Camaliot. Put it by your window every night, turn on your satellite navigation positioning, and your phone will record small changes in satellite signals, collecting data for machine learning analysis of meteorology and space weather patterns.

The CAMALIOT app was developed through ESA’s Navigation Innovation and Support Program (NAVISP), supported by the Agency’s GNSS Scientific Support Center, for more than 50 models equipped with dual-band satellite navigation receivers on the smartphone market. In addition to helping create new models of Earth and space weather forecasts, participants have the opportunity to win prizes, including new phones and Amazon vouchers. The four-month “Citizen Science” campaign will run until the end of July.

The precise modulation signals continuously generated by dozens of GNSS satellites in orbit have also proven to be a valuable scientific resource, increasingly used to study the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and surface environment. Tens of thousands of permanent GNSS stations are recording satellite navigation data continuously. When satellite signals reach Earth, they are altered by the amount of water vapor in the lower atmosphere, especially to help predict rainfall.

Satellite navigation signals also delay and attenuate as they pass through irregular plasma plaques in the ionosphere, a phenomenon known as “flickering.” This charged upper atmosphere is constantly changing, influenced by solar activity, geomagnetic conditions, and local time. Dual-band satellite navigation receivers can compensate for this effect by comparing their two frequencies. These results can then be used through big data machine learning methods to look for previously unseen patterns in Earth and space weather.

Download:  Camaliot