The UKHASnet Network Structure is similar to the APRS system used by Amateur Radio. In that there is no collision detection, no retransmission, and no Error Correction.
All packets are unreliable, like UDP on Computer Networks. A collision with another transmitted packet, or a burst of interference at the wrong moment may cause your packet to be lost in the network as if it never existed.
A gateway or any connection to the ukhas.net database is not required for a local network. The ukhas.net database and associated API
is just intended to be a community-supported service for archiving and visualisation of sensor data. If you don't need it, you don't have to use it! Or if you'd like to use your own system/application, that's fine too.
This is not primarily intended for balloon-tracking, that may be a future use, but we have no idea whether it would work, or how well! For now it's a just a local sensor network with many possibilities on the horizon…