BigWhoop now a finalist in the NASA Global People’s Choice Award

Previously we posted about BigWhoop which is a project entry into the NASA International Space Apps Challenge. The BigWhoop team aim to create a networked system where RTL-SDR’s are used around the world to continually monitor the global radio spectrum.

Now BigWhoop have won the Stuttgart chapter of Global NASA Space Apps Challenge and have been chosen as one of the 15 finalists in the competition. You can help the BigWhoop team by voting daily so that they can get into the top 5 finalists. Voting lasts until May 3.

Since our last post the BigWhoop team have also written an update on their project progress. They write:

Ultimately BigWhoop is intended to run on the Constellation computation grid with 60,000 computers. However, we started a pre-alpha test. So we asked for your help during the hackathon weekend to plug in your software defined radio devices and start a sensor node for us. Our BigWhoop software was already able to send this to our server at shackspace and we received data from nice people in Virginia, US and Bremen, Germany. With this help, we were able to show you a first live demo at the end of the hackathon. Since then, we received further data and are really overwhelmed by everyone’s support and want to say a big THANK YOU!

bigwhoop global spectrum monitoring spaceapps2015 stuttgart local winner airtraffic

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Skip Flem

I’ve noticed that 39 out of 40 ‘flightaware’ trackers in my area (Boston)
are using Raspberry PIs.

TP Reitzel

Why would any entity that values privacy cooperate with a governmental institution like NASA to snoop on literally every broadcast? Strange days indeed

“Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” – Mussolini

I fully corporations would love access to such data as well as governments.


I took a look at the original node/ script. It basically chops the spectrum into to 2MHz chunks and it either directly or indirectly uploads the following data when the script was run IP address(via and, timestamp, longitude, latitude, altitude, frequency (Hz), average magnitude (over 2MHz bandwidth), maximum amplitude (over 2MHz bandwidth). I thought about it for a while and eventually came to the conclusion that I personally would not take part in a project that was uploading data to a country with no data protection legislation.

Andreas -horn- Hornig

Thank you for all your votes and share so far. We are still crossing fingers to get to #5 🙂