Naval Academy Radio Club's
2005 Army/Navy Game Football Run

USNA Satellite Ground Station, Bob Bruninga, WB4APR
W3ADO Radio Club, ENS Trembula (SK)(05), Midn's 1/c Woldering, Cady, Galindo (06)

13th Company Runners: Last year at noon Friday, 2 Dec 2005, 100 midshipmen from the 13th Company began running the Army/Navy game football 130 miles from Annapolis to the stadium in Philly. By 7:30 AM the next morning it had arrived in the stadium parking lot (This last image captured at 0930):

USNA Radio Club Communications: For the last 22 years, the USNA Radio Club, W3ADO(the oldest ECA at USNA since 1928), with the help of the AERO Satellite Lab maintains comms and tracking of the runners using the same kind of amateur radio APRS position reporting technology used in the Academy's PCSAT2 satellite on the International Space Station. Although the USNA radio club was closed during 2005 in the move to reduce the number of small clubs at the Academy, the small cadre of FCC licensed midshipmen still supported this event in memory of past club president ENS Dan Trembula KG4DRA who just passed away just the week before after his long fight with cancer. This event and Midshipmen Sea Trials are two of the main Brigade support activities for the club.

Go Navy - Beat Army with the Crew of Space Station! On saturday, the USNA radio club made contact with the crew of the space station and they mentioned the upcoming Army/Navy ball game! Hear the audio. Too bad he was supporting the wrong team...

Then on 1 Dec, they were doing this:

But we got even the next morning on Ball Run day by loading the same bulletin into PCSAT2 also. So not only did we have two satellites saying GO NAVY, but one of them was on his ship!

  • See the ISS downlink
  • See the PCSAT-1 downlink

    This map is now zoomed into the area between Oxford PA and Philly which covers the route from about midnight to sunrise. The mids do there overnight staging from the fire station there. Look for the FBALL and CHASE shuttle vans on the map below. You will see other amateur radio operators also using this technology on the map. The ball usually makes it to Oxford around midnight. Then on to arrive in Philly by sunrise. The map below is the USNA tracking system [since the ball has arrived, live tracking is over and this map is a Frozen Snapshot]

    Here are the final tracking maps from FINDU. They are no longer live but were captured for posterity:

    These two links above are to the global Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS)and the FINDU data base maintained entirely by Amateur Radio Operators. We can track over 27,000 ham radio operators worldwide. All you need to know is their callsign and they must have a GPS connected to their HAM radio and these links can find them. The aerial photos are from the USGS Database and the web page overlays the live GPS coordinates on them.

    ENROUTE This photo was from 2001 as they headed up route 2.


    The above street maps only show the Football position. The following map ran javAPRS live and showed all amateur radio APRS stations participating or in the vicinity of the Football and Shuttle vehicles. Now this map is running a replay of the 2001 event. When you logged onto this site, you were asked to trust the JAVA applet software that runs this map. If you declined it, then this replay below will not work at this time.

    javAPRS Commands (Case Insensitive)
    U or D
    zooms up/down (you may also use PGup/dn)
    L, S, or M
    List stations, Show Status or Messages to Java console
    CTRL or ALT-click
    Centers or Zooms map on clicked location
    Arrow keys
    scrolls map

    The Remainder of this page is not being used this year (2003)

    Remote Amateur Radio Ken-Cam LIVE Images (2002):

    The following section was updated in real time* via amateur radio link whenever new images were received from the lead vehicle. Most images were taken by the handheld Ken-Cam during changes in runners at each of the legs. (Also, see 1998's Photos). 1999's Photos). Here are the new photos as they came in via HAM radio:.

  • Helmet mounted GPS unit (not used this year)
  • Time Runners
  • 1100 Radio/Chase Vans
  • 1115 Runners (Before shot)
  • 1130 On top of Pendinnis Mount
  • 1145 APRS Operator
  • 1215 Runners
  • 1610 Army AMBUSH!
  • 1620 Army Ambush Standoff!
  • 1630 Handoff Team 5 to Team 6 Ruddy and Curry
  • Thanks to LT Skip Johnson for capturing these at the 7th wing Radio Club and forwarding them.

    These images are transmitted back live via Amateur radio using what is called SSTV, Slow Scan TV. HAMS have been doing this for over 30 years, but now with WEB technology, we can instantly post these live images to our WEB page too...

    APRN BACKGROUND: APRN (Automatic Picture Relay Network) is a live amateur radio channel for the transmission of remote KEN-CAM images. We can even automatically place the station on the map if he uses an attached GPS unit. Thus this APRN web page is automatic and catalogs, indexes and makes available images instantly. There is no better mechanism than APRN for diseminating real-time, in-the-field images from amateur radio operators in support of emergencies or public service events. APRN augments the worldwide APRS amateur radio position reporting and mesaging system by giving vision to remote and mobile operations.

    APRN is a concept presented by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR at the Digital Communication Conference in Chicago, 25 September 1998 and his robotic VISION system presented at the DCC in Baltimore, Sept 1997.

    Here is also a replay of the 1993 Army-Navy game football run to NJ Meadowlands

    And here is a picture of the original GPS tracker built into a football helmet.

    Return links:
    SAT-STATION APRN Annapolis


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    The Naval Academy is a registered user of APRS and WinAPRS. The purpose of this web page is to show several applications currently in use at this site and should not be considered as an advertisement or an endorsement of any commercial product.