Kon-Tiki2: Tracking our rafts

November 2015. The Kon-Tiki2 website has a little map on the left side of its homepage, showing the progress of the Kon-Tiki2 rafts.

Go to www.kontiki2.com, and on the left side of the website you see the map. If you zoom in, you can see the marked positions where the rafts have sent tracking signals. Each raft has one Iridium GO unit which continously tracks the rafts positions with the built-in GPS receiver. Every 30 minutes, an email with the current position is automatically sent to the web server. There, a small script gently massages the reported positions and add them to a small Google Map on the Kon-Tiki2 home page (If you want to play with the data set of the expedition, you can find the reported positions here).

Also, the Iridium GO unit sets up a small wifi network on each raft. Through this network, the crew can send and receive email. Samsung Galaxy J2 – which comes with Opera Max – is used to connect from outside the cabin. We use a small outside antenna of the Iridium GO. The Irididium satellites are 780 kilometres above the crew, and the bandwidth is limited (2.4kbs). However, small text-based messages get through and this is a much-appreciated communication channel with the outside world.