Efficient (highly compressed) SMS / Satellite SMS transport

1. What is the general goal of the feature?

The goal is to enable ODK Collect to be used to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver completed records via SMS (including satellite-based SMS, e.g., on the Irridium Short Burst Data (SBD) Service).

This requires the ability to compress and fragment completed records, to transmit them and reassemble them. We have demonstrated this complete capability several years ago in collaboration with New Zealand Red Cross:

2. What are some example use cases for this feature?

In the short term, our use-case is to work with a well-known international organisation to support a Pacific Island Nation with the ability to perform remote public health monitoring for COVID19.

However, more broadly, this capability will allow real-time data collection in the most remote and challenging areas of the world, including following disasters, in refugee camps, on remote islands and in remote communities.

Essentially, it will allow fast, cost-effective and efficient use of ODK to collect real-time data in areas that lack ground-based communications infrastructure -- or where that infrastructure exists, but has been overwhelmed, damaged or denied.

This will make ODK even more useful and attractive during and following disasters, and for servicing communities who effectively live under disaster conditions year-round.

3. What can you contribute to making this feature a reality?

We have already created proof-of-concept implementations of the various components for this capability, and are willing and able to contribute to the refinement and integration of this into ODK -- or if preferred, in its maturation into a separate system and capability that inter-operates with ODK.

It has been a while since we worked on these technologies, but the key repositories that contain that past work that we would use as the starting point are: