Tom Yochum's Blog (7)

Using ArduPilot as an aerial minesweeper?

I read in Aviation Week (Nov 16th issue) about the International Astronautical Federation and the Minseeker Foundation teaming up to study landmine detection from space. Landmines are a terrible leftover from war in many developing countries. There are an estimated 100 million landmines in the world, and they kill or maim 15,000 to 20,000 people each year. Many international organizations are working on ways to efficiently remove these landmines.



This got me thinking about the… Continue

Added by Tom Yochum on December 11, 2009 at 3:03pm — 64 Comments

Almost off the ground...

Brian and I are almost ready to get our autopilot project "off the ground".



We received a free airplane from a friend of mine who now lives in Japan. (A lot cheaper to buy a new one than ship the old one.) The plane came with a glow engine but we converted it to electric. (Sorry for the crummy iPhone pictures!)

Before:

After:…

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Added by Tom Yochum on September 29, 2009 at 9:07am — 8 Comments

Modeling the brushless motor

I am trying to put together a Simulink 6-DOF model of a complete UAV. I have the aerodynamic data for the Rascal UAV from this paper. The only thing left to model is the electric motor. I need to create a model that takes in the throttle setting and outputs the current draw, rotation speed, and motor torque. I found some papers on the math of an AC motor, but I couldn't make heads or tails of it. Does anyone know of a good paper that outlines… Continue

Added by Tom Yochum on May 22, 2009 at 7:52am — 4 Comments

IMU alignment code progress

We received our IMU!



Brian is busy making it talk to the Arduino board. Meanwhile, I have been working on the alignment code. The alignment proccess uses the IMU's sensors to determine its orientation (roll, pitch, and heading) while stationary. I spent the last few days writing code based upon this document.… Continue

Added by Tom Yochum on April 13, 2009 at 9:43am — 3 Comments

Things are moving forward!

Brian and I are moving forward at a good pace. As he wrote in his blog, we have our processor board in hand and the IMU is on its way. Yeah!



I have been busy with a few tasks:



1. Aircraft selection.

I am pretty set on buying the AXN Floater Jet. It is inexpensive, durable (foam construction with pusher prop), and comes with aileron control. I will probably put in the order this weekend unless… Continue

Added by Tom Yochum on April 9, 2009 at 9:08am — 1 Comment

Picking a first aircraft

We are looking for a first airplane to buy and we could use some advice from all you experts out there.



First of all, we need something inexpensive and sturdy because we will be learning to fly RC aircraft. Secondly, we are limiting ourselves to electric for the simplicity. We would also like something with ailerons so we can use roll steering once we start programming the autopilot.



We have a few ideas, but we are open to other suggestions:…

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Added by Tom Yochum on April 5, 2009 at 9:53am — 8 Comments

In the beginning...

My name is Tom Yochum and my neighbor (Brian Hudson) and I are starting a project to create our own UAV from an RC aircraft. This blog will be used to help document our trials and tribulations.



About us.



Brian is a Microsoft guy, which makes him really smart. He has a computer engineering degree from USC, and he knows everything we will need to know about embedded computing, board design, and coding. Well, at least I think he knows everything.



I graduated with… Continue

Added by Tom Yochum on April 2, 2009 at 8:36am — 1 Comment

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