Some pictures to start...
Thought some of you may be interested in this build as I intend to build an aircraft capable of 1 hour flights to map large areas in order to Create some Digital Elevation models for GIS mapping purposes. Initially i will be doing this for experimental purposes. I know there are a lot of rules and regulations in around commercial photography etc.
I will be focusing on the following
I know this is a highly specialized area, but i do have some of the above from asking various people on here (initially posted about this in my blog area, but that was wrong place, so posting here...)
Right where to start...
I have selected the Ursus Airframe for this build as it seems to have a large wing and space for enough batteries to give slow, stable flight for up to an hour or more in some cases. It has been talked about on here before
Material: EPP and wood
I'll try and post more pictures than words.. .as they are more interesting to look at...
Airframe arrived, fuselage part assembled,
Wooden spas glued into wings, Glass rods glued into tail booms
Fuselage glued together, with, wooden wing joiners glued into place
Wings joined, APM arrived, sticker stuck to horizontal stab.
After a few weeks of tinkering, my APM2 has arrived, And with much help from Chris and Michael I have managed to get HIL mode running pretty well in Xplane 10. I have been familiarising myself with the MissionPlanner as much as possible. Learning how the PID settings work.
Servos implemented, Undercarriage on.
I have also been playing with the Canon CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit) on an ixus 80 and Intervalometer. Which is how i will be taking the photos from the plane, I wanted to see how long it can take pics for before the battery dies, I took pictures every 120seconds, and it took 81. Review was selected though after each picture, And i will be taking pics quicker than that. I created a time lapse from the window. Not that interesting, but its all part of the learning curve.
I have upgraded the nose wheel undercarriage to a more robust strut with steering as well. This should give plenty of ground clearance for the Camera Gimbal
Testing the placement of the electronics, need to decide where to put the APM2, R149DP Futaba RX and the Camera IMU. Plenty of room in here for 2 x 5000 3s lipos! AUW is currently 2.7kg!
I've updated the instructions on the wiki.
You no longer need to use git, nor to compile the code.
Just update, configure and fly:
Excellent - my new aircraft will be ready soon.. so i can test it out! Cheers
Video of Maiden flight - no APM. However it flew really well, managed to get it trimmed properly with only 3 clicks of up elevator. Time to think about APM Implementation!
Very very nice glider you've got there! Skilled pilot also! well done with weights keep it low,
yes that's the script i use exactly, its working great! An easy way to turn of the lcd preview (batt eater), not the preview time between shots, is to plug the a/v out cable. i use the a/v out and a 5.8ghz video Tx to monitor from the ground station if everything goes right.
whats your setup? servos, esc, motor ...
Cheers for the kind words, I did resist adding bits of ply and carbon here and there whilst building the plane for rigidity.
I was pleasantly surprised with how it flew with minimal trim adjustments. Next is to add the dummy load, and also a mini camera with OSD, so i can see how well the motor is performing. I will use the FY21AP and FY117 OSD to do this as I know it works well with this airframe with standard PID settings. I am curious to see if it cruised with less than 10amps, and id like to see what kind of length flights I can achieve with careful throttle management.
RE: Countdown script, I will use that instead of the AP_Photos script i have been using. the AP_Photos script does have some nice additions though, like short shutter speed etc. so all you need to do is load it and run it, it sets all the params for you. Does the countdown one do that?
Wow! are you saying that I can actually have a live Photo feed (Stills) from the Canon camera to a Video TX?
2200mm Version Ursus
Hs81mg Servos on Ail and Elev, El Cheapo 9g Servos on Rudders
Castle Creations Pheonix 45 esc, 60 amp burst (As i happen to have one lying around)
BRC Hobbies 300w 1000v Motor 10x7 APC-E Prop - Link
5000mah 3s 11.1v Lipo for motor, 1300 mah battery for Radio and Servos
Futaba 9C 35mhz & R149DP pcm rx
First attempted flight to gain photos for some photogrammetry experimentation..... surprisingly, not a success!
When i'm happy with the plane on manual mode i will install the APM2 to plot fixed altitude flight paths with plenty of overlap, which i am sure will give much better photos, just thought i'd try taking some pics during the test flights for fun...
Camera: Canon Ixus 80 running the CHDK and AP_Photos Script, I'll be trying the Countdown script next as its been recommended to me.
Flight was completely manual and the altitude was probably completely wrong, I think i need to fly at 150m - 200m for optimum results according to what others have said, this was probably more like 30.
Camera mount, with no roll or pitch stabilization, and no vibration dampening! think this needs rework!
A nice shadow of the plane on take off...
Probably the best shot, grass isn't the most exciting thing to look at, I think the photo is still a bit blurred
The other photos were completely blurred! as shown below, I think it may have been the motor shaking the camera, as the blurriness was wobbly, not in a straight line. Not sure how i am going to dampan the camera.
I had some power system issues down to a loose prop and poor insulation on the ESC wires, causing sparks to arc across the wires, these have now been sorted, so should be able to get some better altitude on the next flight..
If anyone has any questions/thoughts on any of the above, let me know!
I've just come back from attempt 2 with the same camera taking more pictures, It seems it is not possible to take sharp photos without any sort of dampening or stabilization.
Here are 2 pictures, taken 1 second apart, the first is with the motor on, the second is with the motor off... how do people normally overcome this?
Picture 1 - motor on,
Camera: Canon Powershot SD1100 is
Exposure Time: 1/100 sec
ISO speed: ISO-80
Exposure Bias: 0 step
Focal Length: 6mm
Max aperture: 2.96875
Metering mode: Pattern
Picture 2 - motor off
Camera: Canon Powershot SD1100 is
exposure time 1/80sec
ISO Speed: ISO-80
Focal length : 6mm
Max aperture: 2.96875
If anyone has any knowledge of how to program CHDK to take sharper photos, please let me know!
Exposure seems to be your problem. you must set it Always faster than 1/400. in ckhd extra photo operations check disable overrides = disable
-override shutter speed = 4
-value factor = 1/1000
- in cloudy days, ND Filter state= on
I use exactly the same camera, and don't use any fancy stabilization. In fact I just cut a hole in the wing of my flying wing to mount the camera.
I think you will pick up some vibration from the wheels and the wooden mount you made. I would make that out of foam and move it away from the wheels. The airframe is vast can't you put the camera inside?? You will will be getting a little wind buffet as well in that position, if you can't move it add something to deflect the air away from of it just a bit of card taped on should do it.
As James said you have to force the shutter speed higher. So bright days are then required.
Hi Gary, cheers for the suggestions. I am definitely going to try a foam mount or at least move the camera way from the wheels. I quite like having the camera mounted on the COG as I thought if i choose to try different cameras it will save me having to move the lipo batteries around to get the right CG.
The reason i bought this plane was the put the camera inside it, to reduce drag, but after thinking about how and where to cut the hole in the underside of the fuse, I chose just to make a mount. Having said that, If i remove the ply wheel mounts and wheels I will save about 250g weight!
There was another reason for making the pitch roll mount, apart from stabilization. I am trying to get good enough photos to be able to create some digital elevation models, and In the guide for the photo taking recommendations, they suggest taking the pictures straight down, so thought a servo controlled mount would ensure that I can use all of the photos, as opposed to having some pics with the horizon in etc.
I think i have got the hang of the chdk enough to be able to change the settings as per James' post. Hopefully the rain will stop in the next few days, and i will be able to try it. I will connect the video link this time so i know what height i am flying at, I am going to try 150m as per dronemappers reccomendation. Have yo found an optimum height for that Camera?
I think oblique shots will shortly become the shots of choice, you get more elevation data out of them.