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Jun 15, 2005, 05:24 PM
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Controlling General Aviation Autopilot Servos with an UAV autopilot board?

Hey all-

I am researching a project for a local flight school to develop a "surrogate uav"; a full sized general aviation aircraft that is piloted, but has the capability to be switched over in flight and controlled by a crew on the ground via radio modem, data link, or a 72mhz signal. To do this safely, I will need to use general aviation type autopilot servos which are equipped with clutches, and thus can be disengaged when commanded by the onboard pilot.

I am looking to control the Cessna 150 type aircraft remotely using a UAV autopilot board such as the Micropilot MP2028 or CloudCap Piccolo Plus. Only problem is that these boards send signals to their servos in typical RC aircraft PWM format. I want to drive a general aviation type servo such as one from S-Tec, which runs off of a direct voltage.

Does anyone know how to go about conditioning the PWM signal to a direct voltage? If not, are there any large RC servos which have the ability to be clutched that run off of PWM? Finally, are there any UAV autopilot boards with the capability out of the box to drive a General Aviation Autopilot Servo?

I know this may sound a little bit crazy right now, although I assure you that this will only be done if it is deemed completely safe and legal.

I thank you in advance for the responses!
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Jun 15, 2005, 05:36 PM
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I can hardly imagine what the gang at Homeland Security will think about this. Sounds like a neat project though.
Jun 15, 2005, 05:53 PM
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aeropal's Avatar
Originally Posted by rdf0011
I am researching a project for a local flight school to develop a "surrogate uav"
For those with security concerns, could you please post some verifiable information such as . . who . . where . . more details about the intended application?
Jun 15, 2005, 05:58 PM
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Zlatko's Avatar

This is a very difficult subject .....

Probably the best place to start is in the UAV forum here

Most countries have limitations on the size and weight of the Aircraft that can be remotely controlled and then limits for a UAV, even with a simple Auto-Pilot .

After 911 all the laws have become tighter ...

Further more, any modifictaion to a Civil Aviation plane are forbiden unless proper certification has been carried out and installed by a properly qualified Aircraft Mechanic. Even for testing.
Any modification to a Aircraft will render its Airworthines Certificate void and the people responsible ( including the pilot ) liable to huge fines.

The local flight school should already know all this .....

Certification is the main reason that the cost of General Aviation parts is so high ....


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