First of all some background...
Having spent a good 2 years playing about with an Skywalker, Ursus and a Canon camera running CHDK, and designing my own uav, which actually flew recently ,I have come to the conclusion that flying wings may just be the best type of platform for short range aerial mapping tasks to create DEM, DSM models for GIS purposes.
The Skywalker was okay (but quite fragile, and now in pieces!), but I think it is too small to fit a roll gimbal on it. And I've found that if pictures are taken on a slight angle, it is very difficult to use software to tile them up nicely. this is my best effort, but far from perfect. The roads on the right do not line up as the camera must have been on a 45 degree angle when the picture was taken. (click for larger resolution) - It was taken using an ixus80 attached to an URSUS Airframe
Realizing that I need to use an airframe that can accommodate a stabilized roll gimbal, i started to design and build my own twin boom design. It took 6 months from initial design, to first test flight. It has a wingspan of 2.4m - AUW of 5kg, and a flight duration of around 30 minutes with 2 x 5000mah packs. However it needs a heck of a lot of room to take off and land, something i don't have in the areas i need to take photos.
Picture of twin boom plane...
What are peoples experiences with using flying wings for this reason? I have the following types of flying wings, and wondering which one is the best to begin with?
I have been using the 60" wing to test the APM2 and 3dr radios. And was using the URSUS (now in pieces after a nasty crash!) as a test platform to practice with the Canon CHDK Kit.
Here's a few pictures of the wing and camera....(click images for larger version.)
My question is how straight forward do you think it is to fit a roll stabilized gimbal to any of the above airframes?
Hi John - nice to see the blog getting updated! Great images, I really need to get my ass into gear and build up the x8,
I'm back in the saddle now after moving home, and am planning on doing a flight over another coastal location with the X5 and the sx230. If i lose an x5 to the sea tomorrow, i'm sure that'll give me some motivation to get the x8 out of the box!
fingers crossed for some good weather!
Nice to see you are still out there. I had been wondering where you went. Nice images you have there. It just goes to show that you don't need to be spending 40 or 50 K to get a good platform to collect aerial imagery. The DIY community is certainly proving that.
I am eager to see you get your X8 up and flying. Keep us updated.
This looks amazing Richard. What motor/battery/ESC set up are you using with the X-5? What sort of flight times are you getting?
Hi Mark, I think it is a 1050kv motor with a 9 x 6 prop, hobbyking 40A esc and 2 x 2200mah batteries, there is more detail earlier in my blog RE: build, hope that helps
Do you mind asking your friend what the res of the source images was, and how long the procesing took.
Also if they have the spec of the machine it was run on that may be useful too
Hi Paul, I took the source images on my x5, the resolution is 4000 x 3000 - good enough for what i wanted. The trial was run on a dell laptop 4gb ram i3 processor. took about 4 hours to process. on medium settings.
Have you used or tried Pix4D? I am running a test of Photoscan to see how it compares to Pix4D and was wondering if anyone else has compared them? It is about the same price (for an annual subscription - more for a full license).