Frequently Asked Questions

General



What is UFODAP?

The UFO Data Acquisition Project is the culmination of almost ten years of efforts by a small group of individuals dedicated to the idea that significant progress on understanding the UFO/UAP phenomenon can only be accomplished by applying scientific methodology to appropriately collected hard data. The Project is this effort to pull together the hardware, software and human resources to make that happen.



What is UFODAS?

The UFO Data Acquisition System is the collection of UAP tracking, recording and analysis hardware and software developed by Ron Olch over the last five years and now the core of the UFODAP tools.



How can I setup my own camera?

UFODAP will make available for sale on this web site many combinations of UFODAS hardware and software to support individuals and organizations in their own UAP data collection efforts. A core concept of the UFODAS development is to provide a very flexible, configurable combinations of software and hardware to meet any situation and budget.



How much does it cost to get started?

The minimum system is just a few hundred dollars and would consist of the Optical Tracking Data Acquisition Unit (OTDAU) software and any supported camera. The camera could be as simple an low-cost as a web cam you may already own. Your system could be expanded to include more sophisticated fixed or pan-tilt-zoom cameras and more camera sites . You can also add Multi-Sensor Data Acquisition Units (MSDAUs) for collecting other typed of data and Mission Control software to pull it all together, triangulating multiple cameras and recording simultaneously from all DAUs. A large system with two cameras, two MSDAUs, software and supporting equipment may cost several thousand dollars.



Will UFODAP make collected video and data available to the public?

UFODAP intends to provide a central point, via this web site, to collect and analyze UAP data and then make available all such data and analysis. Videos and data on the site will include data not only from UFODAP equipment but also that contributed by the community of UFODAP participants. Analysis will by highly-qualified researchers and contributors. Inputs from everyone in the UFODAP community will also be encouraged.



How are MUFON or other UFO organizations related to UFODAP?

There is no direct connection between UFODAP and any other UFO-related organization. However, we have had continuous communications with MUFON and others during the development of the Project. In particular, MUFON Orange County had generously provided Ron Olch with a grant that was helpful in the development of UFODAS systems.



Will I be able to see data collected by other users and share my own?

The UFODAP web site will provide a central repository for collected data and analysis. Viewing of UFDAP-owned camera video streams and detailed analysis documentation will be on a paid subscription basis to support our efforts.



Have others tried to create systems for UFO/UAP data collection before? How successful were they?

There have been several other attempts to provide this sort of capability including video with other sensors but none to our knowledge have been made available to the public and at such an affordable breadth of cost.



Is UFODAP a for-profit company?

UFODAP was not organized for the purpose of profiting from interest in the UFO phenomenon. However, we recognize that we will not be able to provide the kind of tools and support this effort requires without the financial support of the large community of people interested in making progress in this field. Thus, we offer hardware, software and services at a cost that is high enough to sustain our professional-level efforts but well below that which a company interested solely in profit would charge.



What kinds of additional sensors and data collection capabilities will UFODAP/UFODAS offer in the future?

The architecture of UFODAS provides for a natural ability to add additional real-time sensors and supporting software. Some of those we are looking into include real-time RF spectrum, audio collection, weather data such as anemometry (wind speed and direction) and radar. In addition, we are interested in other data sources, online and offline, such as integration with flight tracking data sources such as flightradar24.com as well as weather and satellite position data. Also, other types of cameras are supportable such as IR and video/still cameras with spectral gratings.



How can I help?

Your interest and support in UFODAP and its mission is critical for our success. Stay in touch with our progress on this site, add your comments in the User Community (?) section, purchase subscription and especially get your own data collection systems running in your area. You can also tell others about UFODAP and encourage any UFO organizations you are part of to participate.



UFODAP should consider taking one or more of your systems to …

We would like to hear your suggestions for "hot spots" where we may consider placing cameras/MSDUAs. However, we encourage you and those you know to make the investment of time and money in your local area yourself and thus become part of the UFODAP Project Network.



Technical



How will the system react to multiple targets simultaneously?

It depends on a number of factors -- the relative size and speeds of the objects, the track of the original target and the relative amount of motion of each potential target within the tracking bounding box.



What kind of wind speed can it withstand?

The MSDAU/camera may be ruggedly mounted on a heavy-duty surveying tripod with legs that can be extended widely apart. It can also be mounted (without the tripod) to a pole or building. So it should withstand rather high winds in any case. The assemblies are environmentally rated IP67 to provide immunity from typical weather conditions.