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Old Feb 01, 2012, 09:52 PM
aeronaut999 is offline
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The Willamette Valley, Oregon
Joined Dec 2008
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Robotic Assistance for Sailplanes

I may be posting in the wrong department, I usually fly slope, but I thought I might start out here and see what comes to the surface.

For assistance in flying at very long distances and in other challenging circumstances (such as flying while hiking cross-country), I was wondering if any of the following ideas were already available or might be attained in the near future, at an affordable price and compact size / light weight ( I want to install in a Bird Of Time and call it the BotBot....)

* Push a button on transmitter to activate a "heading hold" function (maybe based on heading derived from piezo gyro, or maybe an actual direction-of-travel-hold derived from GPS data?)

* Push a button on transmitter to activate a "position hold" function (ideally with in-flight-adjustable limit to aft stick travel so the robotics won't pull the glider up into a stall if winds are light.) (Position hold is X Y only, altitude is free to vary.)

* Push a button on transmitter to activate "fly toward pre-programmed location" function (again X Y only, altitude is unconstrained).

* Bank angle (or alternatively turn rate) limiter function- so you don't accidentally steer sailplane into a very steep bank /spiral dive when flying near the limit of visual range

* As an aside I'll note that I suspect that turn rate (yaw rate) data is underutilized in RC autopilots; while flying hang gliders blind I've found that things go much better when you consult turn rate (yaw rate) data as well as GPS heading data, rather than GPS heading data alone...

* Thanks for your feedback of any kind. I am new to this field. I am sincerely seeking something that could be economically added to an RC sailplane for a robotic assist to ordinary visual flying at distances approaching the limit of visual perception.

Steve
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Last edited by aeronaut999; Feb 01, 2012 at 11:49 PM.
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