About the Project
The Outernet Broadcast-Audio Project aims to provide free multimedia internet standard based digital news and information globally using current AM, FM, or Shortwave radio stations combined with common radio receivers intended for music. The transmitted/received digital data is simply a normal website which can be received and decoded using free software, then opened and interactively browsed using the web-browser on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
How the System Works
To transmit the data, files are encoded as a series of audio tones similar to those used in a dial-up modem. The tones are then transmitted over an AM, FM, or Shortwave radio-broadcast, received by an inexpensive AM, FM, or Shortwave receiver and translated back into data by using a computer with freely available open source software. There is no connection required from the radio to the computer, simply place the radio where the computer's microphone can hear the received data-stream and the decoding software will begin saving the incoming data. This implements a one-way receive-only stream where once received a copy of the remote website is saved on the local computer, it can be retrieved at any time without going through the receiving process again.
For AM and FM broadcast signals the range is limited to a couple hundred miles. By instead using shortwave radio frequencies these websites can be broadcast thousands of miles to easily reach extremely remote locations anywhere on the globe.
The intended end-users of this technology are:
- Those supporting emergency or disaster relief efforts
- People living under regimes propaganda and/or censorship
- Persons currently undergoing a media blackout due to natural disasters.
- Rural villages with no internet access available
- As a communications protocol for amateur radio networks
For an end-user to decode one of these broadcasts into a browse-able website all that will be required is a computer (or smartphone/tablet), a radio receiver, and freely available software.
The Radio can be AM, FM, or Shortwave depending on the station broadcasting the data stream.
Proof-of concept has been achieved for all parts of the project independently which includes:
- Data-to-audio and audio-to-data software (Fldigi)
- Open-source software implemented usable modulation(s)
- The underlying file-transferring protocol to be used for the data stream defined (FLAMP)
- Open-source software implementing the FLAMP protocol
- Coupling modem-audio through the "air-gap" from radio to computer reliably
- Decoding received data-as-audio into files
- Optimizing websites for this type of transmission
- Compression, transfer, and decompression of entire websites
Additionally, there are no hardware requirements aside from a computer and an inexpensive AM/FM or Shortwave radio.
All the software required will be freely available as open source.
The already completed parts represent the most time consuming and complex technical aspects of the Outernet Broadcast-Audio Project. There are still however some software-only parts of the project pending completion, then final testing.
For a detailed summary of the project's status and progress please see the Roadmap page.
All the hardware, testing, and programming required takes many hours by real people.
Please consider donating to the project.
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If you are willing to help, are interested, or have questions please e-mail moc.liamg|cc.tenretuo#moc.liamg|cc.tenretuo
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