APRS gives your radio some fascinating flexibility! But what is it? ‘APRS’ stands for Automatic Packet Reporting System, a system developed by Bob Bruniga, whose call sign is WB4APR. (In case you’re wondering why the call sign matters, ham guys like you to know what their call sign is, in case you come across it on the airwaves sometime.)
It’s an interesting, flexible, and useful system, which allows users to transmit text messages, alerts, bulletins, etc., in addition to their GPS coordinates. It’s a form of digital communication that you can use with handheld, mobile, and base station amateur radios.
You might be able to imagine how handy this system would be for people on search and rescue missions or during other emergencies, aside from during everyday communications. A rescuer can transmit his or her location while searching for a victim. A support vehicle on scene or a vehicle on the way to help could be located in an instant on a map, at any time. A standard status report could be given with a few button clicks. That’s cool!
Here are a couple places to learn more about APRS: http://www.aprs.org and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_Packet_Reporting_System.