I'm an aerospace engineering student (midlife career change) and I am exploring the possibility of designing from scratch an airframe piloted by the Arduino platform for long duration video capture and or community surveillance. Lots of vandalism and other dim wits running around the neighborhood these days. Anyone interested to work together combine time, expertise and ideas? No need to be geographically near, skype and email works fine.
This is a project that although inherently good natured will attract the idiotic fear mongering brigade also. Tread lightly.
We have dim wits too and while I'd love to stick some 1080p cameras on a platform and follow the dumbasses to get proof I have resorted to the safe option on having two camera outside mine on an aiming platform (using the movement code I did for APM). Less hassle to build and protects about 20 homes (I live in a cul de sac).
Are you patrolling more than 100m x 100m? YES - plane will provide extra coverage and conserve battery. NO - quadcopter will provide coverage and allow you to hover over a designated target to monitor.
Do you wish to patrol for more than 10 minutes before changing battery? YES - plane will provide 30 minutes without problem. NO - quadcopter has short duration but is better suited to monitoring slow things.
Duration is about managing power (both in the battery and on the airframe). A 2200mAH battery on an APM driven model plane would get you just 30 minutes in gentle winds. On an APM driven quadcopter you would see 5-10 minutes dependent on how gentle you were. These numbers do not include live stream equipment and battery usage let alone with added strain on the motor(s). Make it a 5000mAH LiPO and the frames will maintain those figures with the gear on the airframe. Of course more batteries can be used but then you are adding more mass and must therefore make sure the motor(s) will still work as wanted.
Hope this at least gives you an idea. Skywalker model plane would suit this excellent and an Arducopter frame would suit also dependent on your choices above. Flying over a community is a bit of a dicy subject, let alone the legality (bit of a grey area) so please be tread carefully.
A gas engine variable pitch prop ArduQuad would fit the bill....
The future will have it reading the power/water meters (a UAV ..I mean UAS can cover more terrain in a hour than a man driving and walking can in a day), taking over routine patrol areas for local LEOs (is the park cleared of reefer smokers after dark, responding to alarm monitoring alerts, etc) Sensing/Geolocating RF interferences for Cable, TV and Cellular carriers, the list goes on as far as the imagination. I would gladly put my company on it....
Fly it strictly over treetop level with smart routing to minimize damage risks if it pooops itself. A group like this could cover all the bases and the necessary fixes in a week.
Gas isn't green but until they come up with super batteries that can land on a induction charging platform and be off again in thirty minutes, gas lasts.....
Aswarm of automated-recharging quads is not entirely outside the realm of possibility right now... someone would just need to invest the money, find the inductive chargers, and write the code. Figure at least a dozen quads (probably more like two dozen) on a recharging cycle for every quad in the air. A123 & AltairNano batteries can do numerous-cycle high current recharging right now.
I'm just not sure there's anything worthwhile for them to do at the moment, limited to a 10 minute flight duration.
A buzzing drone that is hovering over a scene where a programmed detection response has brought the drone to take a look would scare off the average adversary. Silent video detection/monitoring works but response would be much slower. Then again ...three subjects B&Eing a house in the suburbs probably wouldn't even notice the drone due to the crack induces buzz going on in their heads....jaja
The programmed patrols running the problem areas on a varied schedule could save time and manpower.
All of this neat stuff would be under 400 feet, maybe easier to get COA'd and providing services as a contract could open up to several markets.
I'm in. I've been working on something already, if nothing else I'd like to share my thoughts with you on the subject.I've been working on a disaster response or maybe first responder type aircraft for smaller towns. Working earthquake and natural disaster type stuff. Also thinking along the lines of animal and marine conservation.
Give me a call @ 971-239-7361 to discuss. Best to start on the phone I think.
I;ll give you ca call tomorrow sometime. I have plenty of ideas done some math to support a design so I Am sure there will be plenty talk about,
Hey guys I have been doing motor/prop/battery calculations for days now and still can't find anything that will fly 20+ lbs for more than a few minutes. I am trying to develop something that will do the target audience requirement - community/contract services but can't find anything beyond "toy" category. I think that a modular airframe is primordial and the ability to swap out modules and do repairs quickly are best practice ideas. Let me know if you come to any arrangement and I am willing to drop $ also.