The purpose of the second land test was to ensure that the buoy was working properly after all final modifications were done to the electronic system.  Therefore, once the appropriate connection between the VHF Marine Transceiver and the antenna was obtained, the buoy was again tested.  This test did not focus on transmission range as much as functionality, as a second ocean test will be conducted to determine the maximum transmission range of the GPS Locator Drifter Buoy.

Date of test: July 23rd, 2002

Location of test: Scott Street and surrounding area.

Equipment Used:

Test Procedure:

The following steps were taken during the land test once on location at Scott Street:

  1. All equipment was set-up and powered on.  The buoy was placed in a vehicle.  The computer and associated equipment remained set-up at the Scott Street location.
  2. Before the buoy was moved any distance from the receiver, the entire system was tested to see if the buoy was transmitted data and the PC was receiving it properly. 
  3. The buoy was driven north on Shelbourne Street while HyperTerminal was monitored to ensure that GPS data was still being received.
  4. Cell phones were used to relay the point where data was no longer being received.
  5. Once the maximum range was found, the test was complete.

In the map below, the test route is shown.

Background map courtesy of MapQuest  

(Copyright 2002, Inc.; Copyright 2002 Navigation Technologies


During the test, the only GPS data that was being received was the Universal Time.  No GPS location data could be transmitted from the buoy because the trunk of the vehicle blocked the GPS antenna and there was also a lot of interference from the surrounding buildings.  At the intersection of Cedar Hill X Road and Shelbourne Street, GPS data stopped being received correctly.  This was a distance of approximately 2.75 km.  However, as the main purpose of this test was functionality, this land test was a success.  As with the first land test, the range was limited because of signal interference and it is expected that the second ocean test will bring much better results.