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        Discussion What's the smallest UAV you have successfully built/tested?

#1 icebear Jun 08, 2012 11:56 AM

What's the smallest UAV you have successfully built/tested?
 
Hi,

SInce batteries and electronics have become smaller and lighter in recent years, I wonder how small UAV anyone here has managed to build and fly.

I have been playing around with the idea to build a working 100 gram (3 oz) flying wing including battery, camera, autopilot etc. and I am sure someone already has tried before. Right now 100 grams seems doable...

Preliminary specs.

Flying wing 16" wingspan: 25 grams
Autopilot 12 grams
GPS: 10 grams
2x servos+ rc: 12 grams
ESC+motor: 15 grams
Stripped Keychain#16 cam: 10 grams
2s LiPO: 16 grams

TOTAL: 100 grams

Any thoughts, ideas welcome!

Cheers,

Bjorn

#2 Gary Mortimer Jun 08, 2012 01:39 PM

I reckon a free flight design of old, modified will fit the bill. Should the target be the same distance as the lighthouse?

#3 icebear Jun 08, 2012 02:08 PM

Yes - target would be to fly for 20 minutes, so a simple 2 mile trip to any lighthouse of choice should be possible... :)

When you say free flight design, you dont mean flying wing?

Thanks,

Björn

#4 bmw330i Jun 08, 2012 04:29 PM

We should define some metric for judging what's "smallest".
Points for each inch of wingspan, nose to tail, endurance, all up weight, autonomy... We should have some definition for autonomy as well. Deduct for fully automated (i.e. take off and land without any operator input). Precision of flight.
-DC

#5 RHIN0 Jun 09, 2012 03:18 AM

Under 100g is completely unregulated in some countries - just sayin

#6 icebear Jun 09, 2012 09:18 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

We should define some metric for judging what's "smallest".
Points for each inch of wingspan, nose to tail, endurance, all up weight, autonomy... We should have some definition for autonomy as well. Deduct for fully automated (i.e. take off and land without any operator input). Precision of flight.
-DC
OK, right now I am just interested in some examples, i e has anyone managed a 100g autonomous flight, and what gear was used etc etc.

My first incarnation is ready now - although weighing in at 166 grams. It's based on the MX Composite Swift II wing with a Gluonpilot - see picture below. First flight any day now when it is calm enough...

I am still looking at other/better wings of that size or smaller - around 40 cm or 16 inches. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Björn

#7 t-turley Jun 09, 2012 10:05 AM

That looks pretty slick, Björn. I've been using UDB3, which does a great job with speed control and altitude hold, but tends to miss waypoints occasionally. You've been having such success that I may have to check out Gluonpilot.

Tony

#8 icebear Jun 09, 2012 11:23 AM

Thanks Tony. I havent tested any UDB versions myself but the Gluonpilot is quite stable in my opinion and Tom Pycke has done a great job in writing the Groud Station software, Xbee extension board etc to make it a really easy to use system.

Björn

#9 Gary Mortimer Jun 10, 2012 01:31 AM

If you kept under or at 100g would you consider a bigger wingspan to be allowed Bjorn??

#10 icebear Jun 10, 2012 05:39 AM

Gary, sure - I am just weight sensitive. Any wing in mind?

/Björn

#11 Gary Mortimer Jun 10, 2012 09:58 AM

Well I am awfully tempted to try and build one......

#12 patrickegan Jun 10, 2012 11:24 AM

I hear they are nano quad copters coming...

#13 icebear Jun 10, 2012 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Mortimer (Post 21855917)
Well I am awfully tempted to try and build one......

Me too... Let me know if you succeed! I am having a hard time finding good balsa wing kits which should be an easy and quick start, though...

Quote:

I hear they are nano quad copters coming...
That would of course be nice.
But if you heard them they cannot be THAT small... :o

#14 RHIN0 Jun 10, 2012 06:16 PM

University of Arizona Micro-Vertigo (3D SLS printed) is listed as having 20cm span and 100g mass.

See here:

http://paparazzi.enac.fr/wiki/File:Microvertigo.png

https://www.facebook.com/video/video...40111746008990

#15 mlbco Jun 10, 2012 06:29 PM

7 Attachment(s)
I built many versions of small UAVs from 1998-1999. This was before lithium batteries and I used a Cox .010 and .020 in my designs. The one shown here is 8" size and carries a color video camera and transmitter (1999 technology!) as well as a roll/yaw gyro system for increased stability. I flew this model in FPV mode many times and one version exceeded 20 minutes flight duration.

Steve


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