Hey guys, I found out about the UAV scene and want to get involved, and was hoping that everyone could answer some questions. My queries are as follows:

(1) Is using a Wi-Fi signal and on-plane access point a possible way of telemetry using the Arduino Ethernet shield?

(2) How do you set up the Ardupilot to make use of the "Point Camera Here" function on Mission Planner?

(3) And finally, what are some ideas for a non-Xbee-based antenna tracker? I am hoping for some long range flying, and omnidirectional antennas wont cut it.

Thanks in advance for any help I receive.

Tags: antenna, auto-track, autotrack, hardware, help, new, newbie, software, tracker, wi-fi, More…wifi

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Anyone? The most important priority is a Wi-Fi telemetry link. Is it possible to set up Ardupilot to communicate in this way?

I believe so but wifi isn't a good way to control in real time. there's latency and range to consider. if your just getting started you should get a regular rc remote control to get started. then add wifi or xbee links for telemetry after you get up and in the air.

Do you mean a boosted wifi link, 4W or something, or using cellular 3G for internet connection.

This  bloke seems to know all about that stuff.

 

 

Yes, an amplified Wi-fi signal with a tracking antenna. I figured the easiest way to set up a turnkey UAV system complete with a PTZ camera setup would be a Wi-fi connection with a multi-port access point on the plane, supporting a connection to Ardupilot and the IP camera simultaneously on ONE connection. Also, I already fly radio control aircraft, and am by no means a beginner.I have a flow chart on my home computer that explains everything; that'll be up later this afternoon.

Here's the flow chart for my desired setup. Arrows with the handle mean one way communication, wheras two arrows mean back and forth communication. If anyone can answer my questions or add some constructive criticism, that would be great.

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So no one at all knows anything about setting up Ardupilot to communicate on a LAN network?

I just stumbled across this thread.  I have some thoughts on your design as i'm doing something similar to you but have you seen and considered this?

http://store.diydrones.com/PhoneDrone_Board_p/br-phonedrone.htm

It may remove/change some of the gear you have on your diagram. 

I would probably simplify your diagram to remove the vehicle specific parts and focus in on the comms/camera work in more detail - I would also include the specs of what you're trying to achieve and any boundaries in which you have to work.

With regards to 3, why does it need to be non-xbee based?  And are you planning on using the APM with a GPS installed?

Be home in about 2 hours, then I can elaborate on my desired setup more.

Well, this is all the more I could think of to add to the chart. Any more input about anything I might be missing?

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Not so much about what might be missing for the chart, but more about what you're trying to achieve with your Drone. 

Whilst my other questions above still remain, I just need more go on - your objectives et al.  There would be multiple ways to skin this cat.  For example, the PTZ functionality could be achieved a number of ways (gimbal into the APM being the easiest and without the need of IP.  You say that you want to put the other Linksys router into the plane - what's the power source?  How big is the plane you're going to put this in?  Is weight a concern etc etc.

 

As for what this drones mission is; it will be a surveillance drone for airsoft skirmishes we have in the forests away from the towns. Before you say it can't see through foliage, we don't have forests in Alaska like what you might think of as a forest; lots of pine trees and the occasional birch, but those lose their leaves in the winter anyways.

I'm curious now about PTZ functionality in Ardupilot. I did not know you could interface a camera to it directly, but I guess that answers my question about how to use the "Point Camera Here" command. The power source for the Linksys in the plane would come from a separate battery in the plane. The airframe itself is great for hauling HEAVY loads. Its a Hobbico Nexstar, and it came origionally with these two huge Ni-Mh bricks that weighed several pounds and even those kept it up for 20 mins, so what could I do with Li-Pos that have almost twice the capacity? Weight shouldn't be a problem at all. Can you expand more on using Ardupilot for camera control please?

The camera controls are mentioned here.

http://code.google.com/p/arducopter/wiki/AC2_Camera

Yes, it's for the Quad, but the APM component would be the same.  And you could use PM to say where you want the camera to look.

And disclaimer, I haven't used zoom on a RC vehicle before, simply because the cameras i've used haven't had it.  I would defer to someone else about that.

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