Detecting the Blue Angels with Splunk Storm

Filed Under Geek, Raspberry Pi, SF Bay Area | 2013-01-20, 14:00

Blue Angels fly by the Golden Gate Bridge

For those that live in San Francisco (and the surrounding area), you know what Fleet Week sounds like. For those that don’t live around here, it sounds like incredibly loud low flying fighter jets buzzing the city for a couple hours each day for almost a week. Specifically it’s usually the Blue Angels practicing for their air show. Every year, Twitter and Facebook light up with either love or hate for these incredible technological marvels of human achievement built in the pursuit of an even greater military killing force. Regardless of your politics, they’re loud.

I’ve been working at Splunk on our cloud-based product, Splunk Storm, and have been finding new and different things to log and analyze with the service we’ve built. Shortly before Fleet Week 2012, Greg Albrecht came up with the idea of monitoring the roar of jet engines. He’s got a great write up of the whole side-project: Blue Angels Flyover Detection Using Splunk.

I used a Raspberry Pi with a Zoom H2 Recorder that can be used as a USB microphone. I left it setup by the window with it streaming data to our shared free project on Splunk Storm. We wondered at first whether we’d be able to reliably detect the jets since we had no way of testing before Fleet Week. Surprised that none of my friends owned fighter jets? Yeah, me too. But as you can see from the screenshots on Greg’s page of reports generated with Splunk, they weres pretty easy to detect.
Blue Angel Flyovers detected by Splunk Storm

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Sights and Sounds of the Blue Angels

Filed Under Photography, SF Bay Area | 2009-10-09, 13:01

Blue Angels and Sutro Tower

It’s Fleet Week again in San Francisco, and as usual the debate over whether the Blue Angels are awesome or that they just represent war rages on Twitter and elsewhere online. Everyone has their own opinion, but politics aside, I love the technical aspect of these incredibly powerful jets flying over our city with talented pilots. Having roof access I went up and snapped a few pics. Additionally I grabbed my audio recorder and was able to capture a fly-by. Wondering why people are complaining about the noise? Turn your speakers way up and check out this MP3 to find out.

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