The Zombie Plop (ZP) project is a radio-frequency dead drop messaging system and semi-permanent information repository.
It is primarily intended to provide short messaging services (not necessarily limited to 160 characters, but definitely limited in size - perhaps to 500 or 1000 characters) and secondarily to provide access to valuable information (such as that necessary to survival and societal reconstruction) in any situation where a communications infrastructure is not available or not practical. This could be due to terrain, post-apocalyptic conditions, natural disaster, or human interference with existing communications infrastructure. The project consists of a communications protocol; a flexible, time-insensitive networking infrastructure; and two categories of devices, "core" devices and "access" devices.
Any system or device that conforms to the communications protocol and provides the required resources (such as storage and re-transmission of messages) can act as a core device, and any system or device capable of connecting to a core device can be an access device. The core device will be a "from scratch" design using mostly COTS components, and the proof of concept access devices will be 1) a cell phone with BLE 4.0 and our app running on it, and 2) an MSP430 development kit.
The original specification for a core device has a large amount of persistent, reliable storage, multiple radio frequency communication channels, a high capacity, user-replaceable rechargeable battery and a small solar cell with charging circuit. Ideally, it will also have a port for external power and another for communication extension (for instance, broadcasting messages over shortwave radio or a low-quality audio-only PSTN call). It will fulfill the role of mailbox, and semi-permanent information storage. Core devices will also have a "courier" mode for mobile installations, and in such a mode will attempt to synchronize as much as possible with other core devices it finds, with service to access devices taking a lower priority.
Access devices provide, as is somewhat evident from the name, access to the services offered by core devices. They can be any form factor or device. The only true requirement is the ability to communicate with a core device over one of the available RF channels, although the utility of such a device is limited without some amount of storage, a screen and a keyboard.
This project is planned to be released under Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA 4.0) and MIT licensing, as appropriate. Licensing information will be available on individual resources as it applies to them.
|AD||Access Device. Synonymous with ZPA.|
|BLE||Bluetooth Low Energy|
|CD||Core Device. Synonymous with ZPC.|
|COTS||Commercial Off The Shelf|
|GPS||Global Positioning System|
|MSP430||Texas Instruments MCU Family|
|PCB||Printed Circuit Board|
|PSTN||Public Switched Telephone Network|
|SoC||System on Chip|
|ZP||Zombie Plop. Abbreviation of the project name.|
|ZPA||Zombie Plop Access [Device]. Refers to the "access" device in the project.|
|ZPC||Zombie Plop Core [Device]. Refers to the "core" device in the project.|
|ZPN||Zombie Plop Network. Refers to any collection of ZP devices forming a network.|
|ZPP||Zombie Plop Protocol. Refers to the protocol used for communication among ZP devices|