GPRS Shield

I recently lost a drone I built that I sunk a lot of money into earlier that month. It was setup for FPV, so it had a video camera, video Tx, DJI Naza Flight Controller w/GPS, the whole 9 yards. I was flying about 500 feet up in the air when I believe a motor went out and lost control. It was extremely windy that day and since the quad was high in the air it didn't immediately start descending, the wind took it until the video was out of range, even then it didn't look like it had even began to descend.

I had only flown that particular quadcopter maybe 5 times and had over $1,000 invested. I've built another one since then, this time using the Arduino platform (multiwii). I haven't flown it too far from me with fear of losing it.

So what I want to do is to be able to track it if I do happen to have another situation like the one mentioned above. While my last one had a GPS unit on it, I had no way of transmitting the coordinates anywhere, it was purely used for navigation or staying in one spot. Can anyone suggest the best way to do this? My current one has a GPS as well, but it's a cheap unit, and of course I don't have a method of transmitting the coordinates. I'm pretty sure I should be able to do this with an GPRS shield, but I guess my real question is where is it transmitting to? Do I have to purchase a mobile package from a mobile carrier like AT&T/Sprint/Verizon to accept and transmit the signal to wherever I need it? I have a web server at my house, so I was thinking I could build a small web app to receive the coordinates from the GPS, my problem is I don't know how to get the GPS coordinates from the Arduino to Internet.

I would appreciate the hell out of any suggestions or help.


Looks great! Do you know if I have to have some type of mobile career contract to use it? I'm assuming I do otherwise what are the text messages transmitting to/from?