HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Closed Thread
Thread Tools
This thread is privately moderated by Mick Molloy, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Old May 10, 2011, 10:35 AM
Registered User
Canada, QC, Montreal
Joined Apr 2009
574 Posts
Hi everyone,
Our team just got back from a UAV competition here in Canada, and as you all prepare for this year's OBC, I thought I would share some things I noticed that may help:

Many people had nice, stable, autonomous flight, but their camera systems just weren't up to par. Most teams flew pretty high, and had a hard time detecting and locating targets. Many also had range problems on their RC, telemetry, and video. Some had high focal length cameras, but had to fly waaay to high to use it, thus getting out of range and having a very unstable image.

We were the only team to have a GoPro HD camera recording our mission in high def. We were able to identify most of the targets by looking at the HD feed after we landed. The stuff we found in the HD we would have never found with a standard def "fpv cam". This probably doesn't really apply for the OBC though...

Our team had bad EMI problems which led to significantly reduced RC range. It wasn't from transmitters being too close or anything, just disorganized wiring. Don't underestimate EMI!

Preflight checklists and well-rehearsed GCS operations go a long way to prevent mistakes, but make you look good. Good communication between the pilot and the GCS operator(s) is also important. Some actually used wired headsets to talk to each other, which I thought was a great idea.

Thanks all I can think of for now. Good luck!
aero_k is offline Find More Posts by aero_k
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old May 10, 2011, 04:09 PM
Registered User
Joined Mar 2011
8 Posts
UAV Comp in Canada

Hi Aero_K,

Thanks for the insight into the lessons learnt in Canada. Which comp did you go to? I used to live in Ottawa but now I'm in Canberra searching for Outback Joe. I think he is a bit north of here .........

Best regards,

Andrew
Dickson College UAV team
CanberraUAV is offline Find More Posts by CanberraUAV
Old May 10, 2011, 04:17 PM
Registered User
Joined Mar 2011
8 Posts
UAV Open House - May 17th

Hi there,

Just in case any of you are in Canberra next Tuesday, or you have friends here in Canberra, Dickson College is presenting a UAV/Robotics open night on Tuesday May 17th from 5:30pm. The students will be presenting the work that they have done so far on the project. There will be demonstrations of autonomous vehicles, video of flying, robots and samples of the data fusion techniques that will used in the challenge. Everyone is welcome.

See you,

Andrew
CanberraUAV is offline Find More Posts by CanberraUAV
Old May 11, 2011, 10:13 AM
Registered User
Canada, QC, Montreal
Joined Apr 2009
574 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanberraUAV View Post
Hi Aero_K,

Thanks for the insight into the lessons learnt in Canada. Which comp did you go to? I used to live in Ottawa but now I'm in Canberra searching for Outback Joe. I think he is a bit north of here .........

Best regards,

Andrew
Dickson College UAV team
Hey Andrew,
Wow, small world. It was the Unmanned Systems Canada Student UAV Competition. Formerly is was called UVS Canada, but merged with AUVSI last year I think. It is still a relatively small competition, but it's growing fast.
It is only open to Canadian colleges and universities, and there were 15 entries, 8 of which flew, and four of which spotted targets.
aero_k is offline Find More Posts by aero_k
Old May 12, 2011, 04:19 AM
Registered User
Adelaide, SA
Joined Sep 2009
48 Posts
Hi all,

Has anyone of a generous and sharing nature found a suitable GPS boundary monitoring device? If there was a suitable interface on such a device, I would be happy to add an input to the Millswood Failsafe devices that would cause flight termination.

Cheers,
Andrew.
Andrew Dunlop is offline Find More Posts by Andrew Dunlop
Old May 12, 2011, 04:58 AM
Registered User
kbosak's Avatar
Wrocław, Poland
Joined Jun 2007
696 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Dunlop View Post
Hi all,

Has anyone of a generous and sharing nature found a suitable GPS boundary monitoring device? If there was a suitable interface on such a device, I would be happy to add an input to the Millswood Failsafe devices that would cause flight termination.

Cheers,
Andrew.
I have added multizone monitoring for Flexipilot just for the purpose. The calculation is best when you make many rectangular lat1,lon1 to lat2,lon2 zones.
When it quits all, rethome logic kicks in or a parachute is opened. With 4-20 zones you can cover Kingaroy. This was a part of secret Flexipilot OC research, unclassified because I have found OC participants are endless tinkerers instead of clients so they may roll their own. Flexipilot is no longer available separately.

The zones for OC are
@@@PARA_ZONE_MIN=0
@@@PARA_ZONE_MAX=9
@@@ZONEWRITE 0 -26.573571 151.837412 -26.582507 151.839843
@@@ZONEWRITE 1 -26.579237 151.836532 -26.582724 151.837627
@@@ZONEWRITE 2 -26.580548 151.839453 -26.582473 151.841135
@@@ZONEWRITE 3 -26.581942 151.836141 -26.592270 151.847929
@@@ZONEWRITE 4 -26.587095 151.835342 -26.599655 151.849207
@@@ZONEWRITE 5 -26.581621 151.843443 -26.582771 151.847000
@@@ZONEWRITE 6 -26.596038 151.847117 -26.605164 151.851080
@@@ZONEWRITE 7 -26.599000 151.834234 -26.611970 151.851694
@@@ZONEWRITE 8 -26.607940 151.834258 -26.642660 151.863362
@@@ZONEWRITE 9 -26.603171 151.850408 -26.609392 151.857338

@@@RETHOME_ZONE_MIN=10
@@@RETHOME_ZONE_MAX=11
@@@ZONEWRITE 10 -26.581206 151.835891 -26.598944 151.849195
@@@ZONEWRITE 11 -26.598411 151.835891 -26.641200 151.859120
kbosak is offline Find More Posts by kbosak
Old May 13, 2011, 02:55 AM
Registered User
Joined Sep 2009
18 Posts
Here you go....

http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/...ource=activity

Can't believe i'm helping an Aussie - next i'll be drinking VB or XXXX......

Cheers
Justin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Dunlop View Post
Hi all,

Has anyone of a generous and sharing nature found a suitable GPS boundary monitoring device? If there was a suitable interface on such a device, I would be happy to add an input to the Millswood Failsafe devices that would cause flight termination.

Cheers,
Andrew.
UkKiwi is offline Find More Posts by UkKiwi
Old May 13, 2011, 03:05 AM
Registered User
kbosak's Avatar
Wrocław, Poland
Joined Jun 2007
696 Posts
Kiwi, they have ATMEGA in DIYDRONES.
They will be low on processing resources soon.
kbosak is offline Find More Posts by kbosak
Old May 13, 2011, 03:12 AM
Registered User
Joined Sep 2009
18 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbosak View Post
Kiwi, they have ATMEGA in DIYDRONES.
They will be low on processing resources soon.
Yeah i know.....
The rules for the OBC specify that you need a standalone solution for the flight termination and the ray casting doesn't use up many resources so could be easily added to Andrews fail safe device.
UkKiwi is offline Find More Posts by UkKiwi
Old May 13, 2011, 03:27 AM
Registered User
kbosak's Avatar
Wrocław, Poland
Joined Jun 2007
696 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by UkKiwi View Post
Yeah i know.....
The rules for the OBC specify that you need a standalone solution for the flight termination and the ray casting doesn't use up many resources so could be easily added to Andrews fail safe device.
Honestly I believe that having SEPARATE failsafe is mis-engineering.
PCB connection is MORE secure than cables, so it shoudl be rather a separate subcomponent on the same board. This is when rulemakers try doing something good, but it ends bad.
Personally I think the worst problem is that the rules are not verifiable until you:
-drive around the boundary
-make a simulator for your autopilot
Without it, you know nothing if you don't have export to kml, processign etc to check and recehck. At the end of day, you find that your over-specified failsafe is doubling or exceeding the sophistication of the autopilot...
I say it shoudl be done by the rules and will be done, but I think the rules are wrong by putting at the same time requirements of 'separate module' and 'automatic' and 'irregular flying zone' (pick any of the two and it will be fine).
Somebody that HAS decently organised failsafe strategy will be UNWILLING to degrade his safety to meet the requirements.
kbosak is offline Find More Posts by kbosak
Last edited by kbosak; May 13, 2011 at 04:05 AM.
Old May 13, 2011, 03:42 AM
Registered User
Joined Sep 2009
18 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbosak View Post
Honestly I believe that having SEPARATE failsable is misingineering.
PCB connection is MROE secure than cables, so it shoudl be rather a separate subcomponent on the same board. This is when rulemakers try doing somethign good, but it ends bad.
personally I think the worst problem is that the rules are not verifiable until you:
-drive around the boundary
-make a simulator for your autopilot
without it, you know nothing if you don't have export to kml, processign etc to check and recehck. at the end of day, you find that your over-specified failsafe is doubling or exceeding the sophistication of the autopilot... I say it shoudl be doen by the rules and will be done, but I think the rules are wrong by putting at the same time requirements of 'separate module' and 'automatic' and 'irregular flying zone' (pick any of the two and it will be fine).
I agree, the way I am doing it is a plug in card with a separate power supply to the main board. I have found it is pretty simple and easy to test if the current location is within an irregular boundary and then implement rules from there...
UkKiwi is offline Find More Posts by UkKiwi
Old May 13, 2011, 12:40 PM
Suspended Account
Brunswick, OH
Joined Nov 2005
5,547 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Dunlop View Post
Hi all,

Has anyone of a generous and sharing nature found a suitable GPS boundary monitoring device? If there was a suitable interface on such a device, I would be happy to add an input to the Millswood Failsafe devices that would cause flight termination.

Cheers,
Andrew.
Is this a requirement for 2012? There has to be an onboard GPS boundary monitoring device?
HappyKillmore is offline Find More Posts by HappyKillmore
Old May 13, 2011, 04:06 PM
Registered User
mboland's Avatar
Bouldercombe, Central Queensalnd, Australia
Joined Aug 2007
161 Posts
On Board Geofence

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyKillmore View Post
Is this a requirement for 2012? There has to be an onboard GPS boundary monitoring device?
From the Rules:
5.5.5 Mission Boundary Crossing - GeoFence

From 2011, GeoFencing is mandatory. All teams must implement automatic (on-board) detection of mission boundary crossing.

And another little gem which I haven't seen commented on yet:
All teams must implement a method to monitor the status of the GPS onboard the aircraft, without intervention from the ground. All teams must implement a GPS failure mode.
mboland is offline Find More Posts by mboland
Old May 13, 2011, 07:04 PM
Suspended Account
Brunswick, OH
Joined Nov 2005
5,547 Posts
Who writes these rules? I was under the belief that nobody has successfully delivered a water bottle to Joe. Is that correct? And that the 2011 Outback Challenge - Search and Rescue was postponed until 2012 to give teams more time to work on their deliverables, is that right? Because many teams were signing up and then very few were actually ready to complete on the day of the competition....and then these rules get added? I predict one team actually getting in the air next year.

5.5.6 is goofy too.
“Lock Up” or Failure of Autopilot
All teams must implement a method of monitoring the status of the autopilot and any external processor implementing the mission boundary crossing detection. The status will be updated at a rate of at least 1 Hz. On detecting a “lock up” or failure of the autopilot or any external processor implementing the mission boundary crossing detection the aircraft will enter the flight termination mode (Section 5.6). Deliverable 2 should address the implementation.

What about a backup for the backup? Maybe 56 levels of redundancy to make sure it doesn't cross outside the unnecessary boundaries of the competition. I guess when it comes time to find a real person in the outback, the UAV will need to have a 1 lb payload capacity so it can explode when crossing and arbitrary line in the middle of nowhere. It seems the nannies are taking over the competition.

I sure hope the same rule makers don't get involved with the Sparkfun event....which is easily the most dangerous UAV competition ever for spectators.
HappyKillmore is offline Find More Posts by HappyKillmore
Last edited by HappyKillmore; May 13, 2011 at 07:10 PM.
Old May 13, 2011, 07:46 PM
Registered User
Pants's Avatar
Australia
Joined Mar 2002
426 Posts
Quote:
I sure hope the same rule makers don't get involved with the Sparkfun event....which is easily the most dangerous UAV competition ever for spectators.
I guess that's why CASA regulate the events here in Australia and not sparkfun, and CASA allowing the activity of UAV's for the competition into controlled airspace with manned aircraft.

I spoke to Mick and he's away till next week and will answer some of your questions & comments then.
Pants is offline Find More Posts by Pants
Last edited by Pants; May 13, 2011 at 07:56 PM. Reason: I kan't spel
Closed Thread


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Uav challenge outback 2011 leogarabello Australian Electric Flight Association 1 Feb 08, 2011 08:33 PM
Contest OFFICIAL - 2010 UAV Outback Challenge Forum Mick Molloy UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 589 Feb 02, 2011 05:18 PM
Discussion UAV Outback Challenge ommadawn FPV Talk 0 Sep 25, 2010 01:37 AM
Contest UAV Challenge Outback Rescue 2009 - Official Thread Mick Molloy UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 720 Nov 19, 2009 11:42 AM