Hey all. I am looking for any combination of assistance or colaboration in a project of mine I am planning to start. I am an Aerospace Engineering graduate student who is starting to plan out my project for academic research (Special project -> PhD Thesis). My interest involves using systems engineering algorithms to further advance the use of sensor fusion in UAVs for various missions such as object avoidance through urban areas (GPS unavailable/low-light/manueverability).

The idea is that in situations where the UAV is in difficult situations (GPS-denied, reduced light, difficult objects for lidars, high manueverability needed) then you must take advantage of ALL sensors on-board, including the IMU, and you must also have a complex algorithm which has a built-up knowledge of the surroundings.

My proposal is to begin to work in both the physical world and the simulation world. The physical world involves a Pixhawk and some basic sensors. The simulation world would be a built up modeling and simulation environment to work with the ArduPilot code. It will utilize complex algorithms involving UAV dynamics, sensor communication, and machine learning.

On the programming and software side I will need a lot of help. I do not have an advanced background in programming other than engineering programming on like Matlab and with Numpy in Python. BUT this is why I want to start the project NOW, and get assistance in learning what I need to learn. I am willing to research as hard as I need to in order to get the knowledge.

If anyone has detailed questions you can reach me at: harris.caleb84@gmail.com. Otherwise, just comment here.

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It looks like we are both researching and trying to learn about very similar things. I read your comment on my post and it seems like you were looking for the answers to some of the issues I've discussed there. We should stay in touch!

P.S. I'll be exploring sensor fusion too! And yes, the interest is academic.

That is awesome!  Yes, let us stay in touch.  I am in the very early stages, and I am in the first year of my program, so I won't have much time to devote to this project for a few months.

Feel free to email me if you would like.  I can share the few papers I am looking at to begin my research.

Safat Khan said:

It looks like we are both researching and trying to learn about very similar things. I read your comment on my post and it seems like you were looking for the answers to some of the issues I've discussed there. We should stay in touch!

P.S. I'll be exploring sensor fusion too! And yes, the interest is academic.

I have had some set backs and complications but nearing the end of the first year. Not very much far ahead into my research myself although hoping to make some good progress real soon. I''ll email you and maybe we can share such information and help each other out.

Caleb said:

That is awesome!  Yes, let us stay in touch.  I am in the very early stages, and I am in the first year of my program, so I won't have much time to devote to this project for a few months.

Feel free to email me if you would like.  I can share the few papers I am looking at to begin my research.

Safat Khan said:

It looks like we are both researching and trying to learn about very similar things. I read your comment on my post and it seems like you were looking for the answers to some of the issues I've discussed there. We should stay in touch!

P.S. I'll be exploring sensor fusion too! And yes, the interest is academic.

I found your discussion on Ardupilot/Research Gitter.  Can I ask why you are using XPlane11?  I know nothing about it, so would like to learn about what it has? 

Also, have you ever seen anything about Gazebo: http://gazebosim.org/

It is commonly used with ArduPilot SITL.  I have no experience with it, but I was thinking about downloading it and checking it out.

The problem isn't that we can't use these simulators. If you read through the chat logs on Gitter, you'll see that the problem is more with the timing issue ruining things for us.

For the hobbyist, just about any simulator will do. However, for people like us, we need to find unquestionable methods of testing. For example, I'll be exploring various means of data filtration and DSP implementation. X-Plane is the bit which I'm using to simulate real world-like signals. What good would that do if the signals are not arriving to whatever platform I am using at a rate/order/consistency appropriate for my algorithm to function?


X-Plane version isn't all that important as long as you can get the software to give you the data stream that you are after in away that you desire. I picked X-Plane because I find it to be the most accurate simulator that also has other features that will help me carry out a lot of other simulations before I test the actual drone I wish to use as a demo. You can read more details about certain very important ways X-Plane makes the simulation relatively more realistic here: http://www.x-plane.com/desktop/how-x-plane-works/

I have never tried Gazebo but will look into it. Originally I intended to work with something where I used a gaming engine to simulate things but then realized that I might end up working too much into building all that than focusing on my actual research.

At this point, it's looking like the safest bet is to use MATLAB and MATLAB alone. I'm not saying that I've given up or anything. Whatever methodology you come up with, know that you'll have to defend it and the examiners will make sure you're heading the right way by being as critical as possible. 


Caleb said:

I found your discussion on Ardupilot/Research Gitter.  Can I ask why you are using XPlane11?  I know nothing about it, so would like to learn about what it has? 

Also, have you ever seen anything about Gazebo: http://gazebosim.org/

It is commonly used with ArduPilot SITL.  I have no experience with it, but I was thinking about downloading it and checking it out.

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