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Jack Crossfire's blog
Archive for September, 2009
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Sep 03, 2009 @ 02:18 AM | 14,377 Views

Was lucky to have a personal tour of NASA's UAV program, in the restricted area of Moffet field. Quite a contrast to the cattle herding of the KSC tour bus. Seeing a NASA division from the point of view of a NASA employee & eating with the people in the employee cafeteria this time was a thrill. After struggling to photograph NASA Ames in many a blog post from Fremont, here we were actually in the restricted area.

Honestly wasn't happy with any of our photos of the affair. Maybe it was because we were dying inside & weren't completely functional. Maybe it was because we weren't shown any vehicles we didn't see before & certainly no flying.

The NASA UAV program uses tried & true, basic airframes, tried & true flight control laws, & focuses on the instrumentation & high level algorithms. The most exotic work is on automating full size electric gliders, but these R tried & true systems.

There's no sense of making software do what software's got no business doing.

There was no 3DOF IMU, no Marcy Foam, no tri rotor, no spin copter, no unidirectional sonar, no flybarless copter, no EDF. They also maintain their vehicles with the same protocols as manned aircraft, hence no crashes.

We really finished the Jack Crossfire blog in Air Force Heroine's stomping ground. It's hard to get any more immersed in Her world than that, but it was beyond our means to meet Air Force Heroine, no matter how hard God pushed.

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Posted by Jack Crossfire | Sep 01, 2009 @ 12:26 PM | 14,193 Views
Alright kids. Wednesday we're doing a 60m aerial shoot of Mountain View & then we're done flying.

Flying UAV's on the golf course is just killing us. We're not recovering from Air Force Heroine. We're dying just on routine golf course photo shoots that used to be our vacation. We need a new gig. Enjoy the Marcy Foam, 3DOF IMU, VicaCopter, & spin copter. The blog will move to another time slot.

Now the last of the flying blog notes.

Marcy Foam vs. flag in the wind (1 min 56 sec)

Tough video to watch. Tough video to watch.

Exposed a lot of problems with flag payloads in the wind. Did U see how the tail rotor was so far over it shredded the radio cable? Did U see how horizontal velocity was maximized to keep the flag from pulling it away? Very psychotic. At least the Marcy Foam got improved performance.

spin copter closeout

Lots of questions arose on spin copter. Does the fuselage have too much momentum to slow down for half a revolution? Would the possible speed change give much horizontal velocity? What good is it if you're not also going to have a pushbroom camera?

spaceship blog post

Spaceships don't have accelerometers & magnetometers for sensing attitude. They only use gyros & photograph the stars to reset their IMU's. That makes VicaCopter essentially a spaceship.

MAV blog post

There is a plan to develop 2 systems for a future airframe:

Ground based navigation in polar coordinates:
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