Help! University student looking to build a UAV for research

Hi everyone, glad to be a new member of DIYDrones.  

I will start off with a little introduction of myself, and what my endgame is for the drone that I want to build.  I am currently studying Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan, in Canada.  This past summer I had the opportunity to play with a UAV known as the swingletCam (http://www.sensefly.com/products/swinglet-cam).  The time I had to use this product made my curiosity start running with ideas on how to implement this kind of technology into Agriculture.  But unfortunately the swingletCAM costs around $15,000 which is way out of my price range.  But then I found your community and realized that maybe I could build something at a much more reasonable cost.  Well enough with my life story.

 

What I am looking for is building an airframe around this camera - XNiteCanonELPH300NDV - at http://www.maxmax.com/vegetation_stress_mkii.htm.  

 

The UAV must be able to make flight times of 30-60min to cover fields that range from 160-640ac.

 

Once I have the images I want to create a geo-referenced mosaic by stitching all the individual images together.  From there I want to import them into QuantumGIS or GRASS and do some additional analysis.  

 

I am hoping you guys can suggest an reasonably priced airframe that can work for what I am trying to do. I have seen that the baxter or baxter2 models might work well.  Also the techpod might be useful as well.  I know I am probably missing some other necessary information so thanks for any help you can give to me and if you have any questions, I will answer to the best of my knowledge.  

 

 

Tags: Beginner, GIS, Imagery, Novice

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Phantom with APM 2.5 will do everything the Sensefly will do for under $500

Would it have enough room to easily mount a downward facing camera?  The first-person view will lead to image inaccuracies.  By the way I greatly enjoyed your book Makers, thats how I found this site!

Yep! (and thanks!)

I have been doing some looking and the Phantom looks like it should work quite nicely.  My next question is how hard is it to install the APM system with telemetrics?  From what I have read I dont think it will be to hard to get a camera working with your system once it is running.  

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