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Old Mar 02, 2007, 09:30 PM
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UAV questions

Hello all, I have a few qustions and would like to tap the experiance of the folks here. I would like to assemble or purchse an aircraft that can do the following:

1 take off and recover autonomously

2 fly a preprogrammed route

3 turn on and off lights at a certain position

4 have an endurance of 40 min or more.

5 be easy and quick to set up to fly, programming can take longer

6 diesel fuel would be nice, but not mandatory

Basic idea is I want this to take off from a heliport and fly about 10 miles to an area turn on its lights fly around and then turn off its lights and fly back "home" I will have "eyes" on it the whole time but I will not be able to control it. I dont need any telemetry from it.


Nate
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Old Mar 03, 2007, 03:59 AM
Resistance is Futile
camship's Avatar
United States, FL, Panama City Beach
Joined Oct 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phyrefly
Hello all, I have a few qustions and would like to tap the experiance of the folks here. I would like to assemble or purchse an aircraft that can do the following:

1 take off and recover autonomously

2 fly a preprogrammed route

3 turn on and off lights at a certain position

4 have an endurance of 40 min or more.

5 be easy and quick to set up to fly, programming can take longer

6 diesel fuel would be nice, but not mandatory

Basic idea is I want this to take off from a heliport and fly about 10 miles to an area turn on its lights fly around and then turn off its lights and fly back "home" I will have "eyes" on it the whole time but I will not be able to control it. I dont need any telemetry from it.


Nate
You might want to get in touch with the folks at Lockheed Martin., General Atomics, Northrup Grumman or Teledyne Ryan. They could probably tell you all 5000 reasons to NOT do as you are proposing.

It will cost WAY more than $5000.

The FAA isn't going to be happy with that scenario EVER...period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phyrefly
I will have "eyes" on it the whole time but I will not be able to control it.
So just WHO IS supposed to be controlling this thing?

This is not a well considered enterprise due to dangerous concept design, massive legal entanglements and technological hurdles involved with fully autonomous aircraft.

And operating out of a heliport? More Serious FAA involvement.

When a semi-autonomous UAV is in the air the operators DO NOT get a cup of coffee and step outside to just keep an "eye" things. The operators are there to INSTANTLY TAKE CONTROL in the event of a mishap or system problem.

I'm afraid that your proposal will likely get you in a lot more than $5000 worth of difficulty.

Good reading for anyone wanting to put robots in the air.

[Federal Register: February 13, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 29)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 6689-6690]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr13fe07-1]


Best Regards,

Camship
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Old Mar 03, 2007, 09:34 AM
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treehog's Avatar
Euroland
Joined Jan 2004
1,797 Posts
Depends on lots of factors

1/ first the budget
2/ second the country
3/ the model making experience
4/ the electronic making experience
5/ the desired size of craft

USA gone into seriously UAV unfriendly mode something
most EU has always had strict rules and the few which dont invent them as suits thiers needs that very day

if you go systematically through several hundred threads on this forum and similar you can for a budget get a SMALL plane to do most of this except probably hand launch and this will be in electric and if you can make most all the components yourself

So suggest read all the relavant thread starting with the micro UAV if your bubjet is small

If your flying in USA or EU the normal rule no model flying witthin one mile of a small airport or heliport unles you own and control it will mean the launch site will be no use to u


also in order to awnswer these questions nbetter best to state your counntry
and all relevant experience electonic modeling and ages roughly and if your in in a club that can help out
Often a large club can get pernmission to things that a individual wont be able to get

failing all that you need gobs of money and you can always hire a boat or yaught go out to sea some 12m miles into international waters and do what you like below 400 feet

Ralf
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Old Mar 04, 2007, 06:12 AM
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Joined Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camship
You might want to get in touch with the folks at Lockheed Martin., General Atomics, Northrup Grumman or Teledyne Ryan. They could probably tell you all 5000 reasons to NOT do as you are proposing.

It will cost WAY more than $5000.

The FAA isn't going to be happy with that scenario EVER...period.



So just WHO IS supposed to be controlling this thing?

This is not a well considered enterprise due to dangerous concept design, massive legal entanglements and technological hurdles involved with fully autonomous aircraft.

And operating out of a heliport? More Serious FAA involvement.

When a semi-autonomous UAV is in the air the operators DO NOT get a cup of coffee and step outside to just keep an "eye" things. The operators are there to INSTANTLY TAKE CONTROL in the event of a mishap or system problem.

I'm afraid that your proposal will likely get you in a lot more than $5000 worth of difficulty.

Good reading for anyone wanting to put robots in the air.

[Federal Register: February 13, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 29)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 6689-6690]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr13fe07-1]


Best Regards,

Camship

Now worries about the FAA, it is outside the States and I am the controlling authority for the airspace in question. There are no legal entaglements.

Hmm, I suppose I was under the mistaken impression this wasnt technologically too challenging. I've been reading a little more. I see there is a company who sells a helo that does what Im looking for, but the endurance seems a little low. put the payload a 5lbs seems right. I forget the name at the moment, N something or another. of course the cost is a little high too.

Lockheed, Grumman, and Boeing all build systems that are much too expensive and complex for this use. The smaller UAVs on the market require a pilot, and I may have to go that route, if it is simple enought to fly. but I would prefer something a little more autonomous.

Nate
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Old Mar 04, 2007, 06:24 AM
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Joined Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treehog
1/ first the budget
2/ second the country
3/ the model making experience
4/ the electronic making experience
5/ the desired size of craft

USA gone into seriously UAV unfriendly mode something
most EU has always had strict rules and the few which dont invent them as suits thiers needs that very day

if you go systematically through several hundred threads on this forum and similar you can for a budget get a SMALL plane to do most of this except probably hand launch and this will be in electric and if you can make most all the components yourself

So suggest read all the relavant thread starting with the micro UAV if your bubjet is small

If your flying in USA or EU the normal rule no model flying witthin one mile of a small airport or heliport unles you own and control it will mean the launch site will be no use to u


also in order to awnswer these questions nbetter best to state your counntry
and all relevant experience electonic modeling and ages roughly and if your in in a club that can help out
Often a large club can get pernmission to things that a individual wont be able to get

failing all that you need gobs of money and you can always hire a boat or yaught go out to sea some 12m miles into international waters and do what you like below 400 feet

Ralf

Airspace is no issue. The thing about the micros is Im afraid they wont have the range. Same for the electrics

It seems I am looking more at a simple to fly A/C that is very stable and doesnt need constant control inputs, one that trims out and flys level nicely. Maybe I can get away with a manual take off and landing and an "autopilot" that only keeps it straight and level, I suspect asking for self recovery might be too much.

to answer your questions,

1 pretty tight to this amount, as It must be replaceable
2 not the States, and airspace is no issue
3 some, but lots of fabrication and mechanical repair
4 not much, mostly just PC oriented stuff, I have messed around with some basic stamps and whatnot "back in the day"
5 smaller is better, if I could keep wingspan in the 3-4ft range that would be ideal, this is a fuzzy limit
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Old Mar 04, 2007, 10:43 AM
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treehog's Avatar
Euroland
Joined Jan 2004
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Narrows the specs a bit

3 to 4 foot wing span is possible but 55 to 60 inch 5 foot would probably be easier cheaper

The 55 inch wings combined with glow motors of 40 6.5cc to 50 8cc size are cheapest in that size but if possible get a 60 motor or max sized motor to have reserve power

Paparrzzi the french have a few simple PIC open source that can fly that type of mission eccept you will still need to RC control land and take off

The 55 inch size preferably 60 inch can carry some few KG with the larger motor combo if take off is from good surface like runway that is long

Hovever if the 40 class plane is listed to be AUW of 2.5 kg the realistic best to lift would be 1 to 1.5 kg as landing will be realy heavy with 2.5 kg upwards

With the rapid developmentsa going on in less than 2 years tsake offf flight to point and return with no input should be feasable on the same type of plane

However that is dependendent on high quality Satilite GPS fixxes

In the USA north america and south america there exists special GPS system that gives high quality fix
EU and northernn central and southern afdrica will have the same in the future 2 to five years from Araine systems

Aisa no idea s but China say will make a solution.


If you start on this now probably with a 40 to 60 class second or new trainer and trautio pilot and download free simulators you should be able to start into the project fairly quickly

BIGGEST OTHER ISSUE IS IF YOUR CLIMATE IS BAD LOTS OF WIND LOTS OF RAIN WILL MAKE THE MORE SIMPLEX SYSTEMS HAVE MORE PROBLEMS

So what type of climate you have and are you operating at high altitude or in mountian regions with turbulance



Ralf
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Old Mar 04, 2007, 06:09 PM
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Phyrefly, if you are the controlling authority for the airspace I would say that you are proposing to act irresponsibly, and setting a dangerous precedent. If you want to flash lights at a distance why not use a real chopper operating out of the helipad?
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Old Mar 04, 2007, 07:36 PM
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Thousand Oaks, CA
Joined Mar 2004
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I agree paparazzi can do this, and has done exactly this - fly out 20 miles and turn on the lights for a while, then return and land. The autonomous takeoff and landing is also no problem. The autopilot even includes a 1.5A switch for controlling the power to payload devices such as high power LEDs. It's not a simple task by any means and would require many many months of work to learn and tune but it's possible, and the best part is that it's free!
see: http://www.recherche.enac.fr/paparazzi

Any of the $5000 commercial autopilots will also do this, check out Cloudcap, Procerus, and Micropilot.

And by the way, this is kinda legal-ish for hobbyists in the US as long as someone is watching the plane from within a mile or so, and has radio contact with the computer operator.
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Old Mar 04, 2007, 08:41 PM
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United States, TX, Wimberley
Joined Mar 2004
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Phyrefly,

I think your gonna have to spend more than 5K.. Other than that, I would do a flying wing with an electric motor.. We fly a 54" unit for 40 minutes pretty regular so Epower is not a problem. Do you need a total range of 10 or 20 miles?.. Shouldnt be a problem either way..

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Old Mar 07, 2007, 06:25 PM
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Allright, I like paparizi, but I got to admit, the hardware intimidates me, I dont think I could devote the time to aquire the skills to build the hardware. The Kestral from procerus seems more like what I would need in the way of an autopilot, but is over the price point I'm looking for.

But Micropilot has everthing in a box ready to go all I would have to do is add the lights. With a 2lbs payload This should be doable. The only problem is again, cost. Well I supose convinece costs.

Vespa, Treehog, thanks for the links and advice.

treehog, Not high, but hot the desert really. However flying at night should help with the reduced performace. I have about 120 meters of level asphalt to use for take off, but trees on one end (10 meters or so) and wall past the end of the "runway" on the other about 3 meters tall and 25 meters past the "runway" Winds are usually fairly light less than 10 kts and genreally down the runway

So, Im going to check out Paparazi a little more, look into the hardware and if that dosent work out, then I'll try and get a little more money for the Micropilot.

thanks again, I'll post more as I learn it. and if anyone has any tips on hardware for use with paparazi, I would love to learn about it

Phyrefly
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Old Mar 07, 2007, 06:59 PM
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Well, the Kestrel, Micropilot, and Cloudcap are all around $5K-$8K. Cloudcap is the only "real" autopilot of the bunch, and the Micropilot is not well suited for anything that flies. There are a couple of people manufacturing and selling the paparazzi autopilot for a few hundred dollars but be aware that any autopilot will require a substantial learning curve and hundreds of hours of tuning, and paparazzi requires all that plus extensive linux skills and some basic programming ability.
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Old Mar 09, 2007, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by vespa
Well, the Kestrel, Micropilot, and Cloudcap are all around $5K-$8K. Cloudcap is the only "real" autopilot of the bunch, and the Micropilot is not well suited for anything that flies. There are a couple of people manufacturing and selling the paparazzi autopilot for a few hundred dollars but be aware that any autopilot will require a substantial learning curve and hundreds of hours of tuning, and paparazzi requires all that plus extensive linux skills and some basic programming ability.

I've been looking a bit, do you have a link for the folks selling the paparazi hardware, or even just company name? How much have you used the kestral, cloudcap, and micropilot, and for what applications? I have what I think is a pretty simple mission in mind, shouldn't need anything too complex.

phyrefly
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Old Mar 09, 2007, 11:23 AM
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Here's a guy in Canada selling Paparazzi boards - http://www.curtek.com/store/customer/home.php?cat=13

I've used the Micropilot extensively and do not recommend it for flying projects. The Procerus Kestrel was designed at BYU and the former students started a company to sell it, they are very bright folks and I have seen this impressive autopilot in action on many occasions. They have great software as well and the Kestrel is used in the BATMAV uav, of which several hundred have been produced. Unlike Micropilot, Kestrel uses proper kalman filtering, though the processor is small so I suspect it's only a half-dozen states or so. Finally, Cloudcap Piccolo is a complete, reliable, fully filtered autopilot and is used in real UAVs like the Aerosonde, Silver Fox, Cobra, etc.

What you describe is a tremendous challenge that will cost many thousands of dollars and thousands of hours. It is extremely complex and will require substantial expertise in virtually every aspect of engineering, software, electronics, RF, control theory, etc.
Here's a couple of very simple basic conversions of hobby airplanes to give you an idea of the complexity:
http://www.cloudcaptech.com/download/Photos/Telemaster/
http://baron.flightgear.org/~curt/UAV/Rascal110_2/
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