I have been thinking of ways to increase the range of the data modem or video feed from a UAV. And it always comes back to having better directional antenna on the ground that has to be pointing at the UAV. My problem is I don’t know too many people that would love to come with me to some remote area and hold a stick up to the sky with an antenna on it and point it at a UAV for hours at a time! I can’t see why?? :)
Then I thought it can’t be that hard to make a tracking antenna, can it??
Putting the mechanics of it aside for a moment….
If you had a GPS receiver on the ground (base station), and the feed from the UAV’s GPS it could be done. If you edited the Ardupilot code (another version running on the ground just for the antenna control) so that the GPS data from the UAV was constantly updated into the waypoint 1 position, and changed the rudder part of the code to give you a 360 degree value. This would give you the direction to point the antenna. Then all you would need is the difference in altitude between the two GPS units (Ground and UAV to get the height of the UAV), and then the distance to waypoint data to calculate the angle that the antenna would need to be pointing up from the ground. (Tan- x = altitude/distance I think?) Then all you would need is a reference to north (Compass module) to make sure it all syncs up. Somehow…
The only problem is if it lost track of the UAV it wouldn’t be able to find it again. Hmmmmmm..
This could even be used in a car following a UAV as long as the car was level and not going up or down a steep hill. I guess you could compensate for that as well if you had enough time on your hands.
I found this
but there is not much info.
The hard part would be physically building the antenna mount.
I not planning on actually doing this anytime in the near future as I am still trying to build a working UAV but, can anyone think of a better way to do this?