Sunday, April 23, 2017

Preparing for exercise with NZ Red Cross

For our DFAT Pacific Pilot in Vanuatu, I am getting ready to fly out to New Zealand for a training exercise with NZ Red Cross's IT & Telecommunications Emergency Response Unit (IT&T ERU), with whom we have previously tested the Serval Mesh and earlier prototypes of the Mesh Extenders.

This time, the plan is for me to build up a fly-away kit containing Mesh Extenders, solar panels, batteries and all the necessary cables and bits and pieces for a complete functioning system.

The fun is that we don't yet have all the parts on hand, and there is still quite a bit of work to do.  So so far, the box only has me in it:

By the end of the day, it should instead have all the prototype hardware inside ready to fly out to NZ early tomorrow morning.  It is has occurred to me that this means that this Anzac Day I will be flying to a joint Australian / NZ exercise designed to protect human life.  Perhaps not on the same level as those who served in war, but it certainly reminds me of their service.

Between now and then, aside from all the paper-work, I need to:

1. Assemble 8 Mesh Extender prototypes;

2. Build 8 power/radio ID cables;

3. Program those cables;

4. Build the final firmware image to be used for the exercise and install them in the prototypes;

5. Install and prepare the microSD cards in them all;

6. Test that they work.

7. Figure out the correct way to carry LiFePO4 cells with me to NZ.

So, I'd better get to it!

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