UAV Project Progressing

Blog Post created by danrich on Sep 18, 2014

I have been working quite a while on a fixed wing UAV project as the subject of my Master's Thesis, converting an RC aircraft to a completely autonomous mapping platform using COTS and open source components. I started with a Hobbico Nexstar Select EP, and started adding components. A Canon S110 was chosen for the aerial camera, as it supports the CHDK Canon Hack Developer Kit and can be triggered by the flight controller. The flight controller is the new Pixhawk from 3D Robotics, an Arduino based component, complete with gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, and uBlox GPS unit. The UAV supports telemetry (915 Mhz) to a laptop based ground station, and incorporates a video feed from a Sony HAD camera to a 7" monitor/5.8 Ghz diversity receiver. The UAV is also equipped with a "Keyfinder" locator and 467 Mhz UHF beacon in the event of a lost plane. The RC transmitter chosen was an open source offering from FrSky - the Taranis, supporting 16 channels and telemetry sensors. This build has been quite an endeavor, and should be configured and tested within the next couple of months. Right now, I am refreshing my RC flight skills.

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